NewsCrime Desk

Teen boxer locked up for assaulting drug dealer

Crime DeskBy Eamon Dillon
Aaron Kelly
Aaron Kelly

A PROMISING young boxer who tried to rob a drug dealer at knifepoint has been jailed for a year after he admitted to the frightening attack.

Former international super-heavyweight amateur boxer Aaron Kelly pleaded guilty to punching another 18-year-old, whose family claim they had to endure a campaign of intimidation.

Kelly had been accused of luring his victim, Darragh Dodrell, to a drug deal, but then punched him and held a knife to his throat.

He also forced the dealer to drive to different locations on Dublin’s southside while making more threats to him and his associates in the car, it was claimed. At one stage, he forced the self-confessed drug dealer to kneel and stood on his legs while he checked a hidden cache of cannabis.

The ordeal came to an end when the dealer drove by a Garda squad car and officers arrested Kelly.

Aaron Kelly

Dodrell, a nephew of convicted killer Sean Courtney, admitted to Gardaí that he sold cannabis to pay for his car insurance.

But Kelly denied making threats to kill his victim or his mother when he had previously called to their Terenure home in 2014.

The victim’s mother, Martina Courtney, claimed that Kelly told her he would put a bullet in her head and one in her son’s leg over debts.

She read a victim impact statement in court, saying: “For almost two years now my son and I have lived in fear, fear for our lives, fear for the safety of my other two children, fear for the safety of my home and my car.

“Aaron Kelly, through his actions, brought that fear into our lives.”

She added that they felt imprisoned in their home and had to undergo counselling, as well as applying to the local authority to find a new place to live.

“I left my job a year-and-a-half ago as the events on my doorstep proved that Aaron Kelly is more than willing to cause serious fear and intimidation. Therefore being a lollipop lady, being around children, was no longer an option and I adored that job,” she said.

She said that she tried to find a resolution to the dispute through Kelly’s boxing club, but that her pleas were “ignored”.

She said that Kelly had not said he was sorry after he “brought terror into our peaceful world”.

In court this week, Kelly did make an apology through his lawyer, who said the family had nothing to fear.

However, he said that Kelly, who was serving time for a separate robbery until last month, denied making the threats to kill and the charges were dropped by the State.

He said that Kelly’s perspective of events differed from Ms Courtney’s and suggested the family may have their reasons to be concerned and were “gilding the lily” as far as his client was concerned.

 “He just wants to live a normal life – no-one has anything to fear from him,” Mr Kelly’s lawyer added.

Judge Karen O’Connor said she “agonised” over what sentence to give Kelly and told him “to put his head down and serve his time” and then “put the whole matter behind you”.