Robber who attacked man with cerebral palsy jailed for three and a half years
A robber who attacked a man with cerebral palsy in a “cowardly and nasty way” as he was leaving the post office has been jailed for three and half years.
Aaron Brophy (24) had also been in the post office on Ormond Quay Upper in Dublin with Patrick Birmingham when he followed him outside put his arm around his neck, kicked him to the back of the knee and knocked him to the ground.
The mugger then called Mr Birmingham “a paedophile” before robbing his wallet which contained €20 in cash and various cards.
Garda Richard Horgan agreed with Anne Marie Lawlor BL, that there is absolutely no truth to the insult Brophy levelled at Mr Birmingham and he is not a sex offender.
Brophy of no fixed abode pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery on January 9, 2014.
He has 48 previous convictions including robbery, assault causing harm, violent disorder and production of an article, theft, burglary and criminal damage.
Mr Birmingham read some of his victim impact report to the court in which he outlined that he works in the Four Courts and it was his practice to go to the nearby Civic Offices to get his dinner during his break.
He said on this particular day he decided to go into the post office to pay a bill on his way back to work.
Speaking about the impact the mugging has had on him, Mr Birmingham told Ms Lawlor that he no longer goes in and out of work comfortably as he has been both mentally and physical affected.
He said it used to be a simple procedure to take his usual lunch break but he now always has to look left and right and “be aware that all is not as it seems”.
Judge Martin Nolan said it marked a low point in Brophy’s criminal career to attack a man such as Mr Birmingham.
He said the victim has since lost his peace of mind and is always careful of people he may encounter on the street.
Brophy told Dean Kelly BL, defending that he was in a bad situation at the time and stressed that he had no regard for himself or anyone.
“I cannot put into words how sorry I am. I cannot describe how sorry I am. Back then I had nothing in my life. It is tearing me up what I did. I am not that person,” Brophy continued.
Mr Kelly described it as a “cowardly and nasty offence” and said his client was on a “slippery slope downwards through chaos and disorder, when as a young lad at the age of 12 he was put under the so called care of the State”.
He said following one stint in prison Brophy left the gates of Mountjoy Prison with “the shirt on his back and toothbrush in hand and headed for a hostel”.
He said he now lives with his partner and their eight month old child.
Mr Birmingham told gardaí in his statement that it would be obvious to people that he had a disability.
He said as he was leaving the post office someone tapped him on the shoulder and said “Do you remember me?”
He replied that he didn’t and went to move on but Brophy attacked and robbed him.
Mr Birmingham alerted the gardaí and Brophy was nominated as a suspect after officers viewed CCTV footage.
He was arrested and questioned during which he made a full confession.
Brophy apologised for what he had done, said he had been on “a load of pills” and told gardaí he would love to give the man his money back.
Gda Horgan agreed with Mr Kelly that his client went into State care when he was 12 years old and spent a large portion of his life living on the streets.
He accepted that Brophy had a serious addiction to drugs at the time including prescribed medication.