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Thug jailed for his role in savage revenge beating and stabbing

The shocking attack occurred at the Central Bank in Dublin
The shocking attack occurred at the Central Bank in Dublin

A Dublin man has been jailed for two and half years for his role in a savage pre-planned attack on another man outside the Central Bank in retaliation for an earlier prison assault.

Patrick Smith (20) and three other men dragged Ian McKenna to the ground and kicked and punched him before one of the group stabbed him eight times leaving him with life threatening injuries.

Ambulance crews who arrived at the scene discovered that McKenna had a machete with him. He later claimed he had this for his own protection as he had been expecting the attack.

Smith of Hawthorn Avenue, East Wall, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to violent disorder at the Central Bank Plaza on September 9, 2013.

He also pleaded guilty to robbery in Ladbrokes on the North Strand Road, Dublin on January 13, 2012. He was on bail for this incident  when he assaulted McKenna and has 80 previous convictions.

The man who organised the attack will be sentenced later this month while two other men have denied the charges and are due for trial.

Garda Kieran O'Sullivan told John Byrne BL, prosecuting that one of the group claimed that McKenna had put a knife to his throat while they were both serving time in prison. He confirmed that McKenna, who had 93 previous convictions, has since died having made a full recovery from this assault.

Gardaí identified Smith and the three other men after viewing CCTV footage of the assault. It was accepted that Smith didn't stab McKenna but kicked him while he was on the ground.

Gda O'Sullivan agreed with Derek Cooney BL, defending, that the man who led the attack told gardaí that he had been holding his five month old baby during a prison visit when McKenna stabbed him.

He accepted that the Central Bank assault was a pre-planned retaliation for the earlier incident in the prison.

Garda James Kildea, who investigated the robbery, agreed with Mr Cooney that gardaí had informed Smith about “a low level threat on his life” in September 2010 and he was told by officers in January 2012 that the threat no longer existed.

Judge Martin Nolan accepted that while the CCTV footage showed Smith taking an active role, in what he described as a savage beating, he was not responsible for the life threatening injuries sustained by McKenna.

He accepted that Smith acted as a lookout during the earlier robbery, but said it was nonetheless a frightening incident for both the staff and customers.

Judge Nolan took into account Smith's admissions and co-operation with the gardaí but noted he has a long history of convictions. He sentenced Smith to consecutive sentences totalling two and half years.

Gda Kildea said Smith was 16 years old when he and other man raided Ladbrokes on the North Strand Road at 5pm. He stood at the door holding an imitation firearm while the other man threatened staff with a similar weapon and demanded cash from the tills.

His accomplice forced his way into the staff area to get the safe but the robbers left the shop with €550 when they were told there was no safe.

Gardaí arrived a short time later and arrested Smith's accomplice nearby. Smith was arrested almost two weeks later after he was nominated as a suspect.

He admitted to gardaí that he stood at the door holding an imitation pellet gun while the other man robbed money from the tills.

In relation to the Central Bank assault, Gda O'Sullivan said a number of 999 calls were made to gardaí following the attack on McKenna after the culprits fled the scene.

Smith was arrested three days later and admitted kicking McKenna “a boot or two in the head”.

A medical report said McKenna was treated in hospital for extensive stab injuries that were considered life threatening and required emergency surgery. He later made a full recovery.

McKenna was also questioned by gardaí due to the fact that he was carrying a machete. He said he had the weapon because he had been in fear for his life.

Gda O'Sullivan said McKenna was on the phone when the four men approached him and he never had the opportunity to use the knife.