Brutal assault | 

Dublin man (25) jailed for four years after ‘savage’ attack on elderly neighbour

Michael Joyce of Prussia Street used a hammer to strike his victim on the knees, toes and ankles

Eimear DoddSunday World

A man has been jailed for four years for subjecting his elderly neighbour to a “savage” attack.

Michael Joyce (25) of Prussia Street, Dublin,7 pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and false imprisonment at the same address on January 9, 2021.

Imposing sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Martin Nolan said this was an “incredibly serious” matter, and Joyce bore a “high degree of culpability for what he did.”

Judge Nolan said the victim, then aged 71, was a “man living by himself, minding his own business” and was “attacked in a savage way” by Joyce.

Garda Sergeant Darren Collins told Fiona Crawford BL, prosecuting, that victim opened his door at 6.30 pm on the night in question. The injured party saw his neighbour Joyce, who lived in an upstairs apartment in the same property.

Joyce had a hammer covered with brown tape in his hands and a shovel with him. He pushed the man into his apartment and demanded €10,000. Joyce told the victim he knew he had money and would accept €5,000 instead.

The accused used the hammer to strike the injured party on the knees, toes and ankles. He then took the man upstairs to his apartment, locking the door. The victim told gardai that Joyce appeared intoxicated.

Joyce repeated the demand for money, and the victim told him he didn't have it. The accused then swung the shovel, which hit the injured party in the head. The victim started bleeding.

Joyce then took the man back downstairs to his apartment and said he wanted €100 a week from the man's pension. The accused had tied the man's wrists and ankles with cable ties during the ordeal.

The victim later managed to escape and raise the alarm. He was taken to hospital, where he spent six days being treated for his injuries.

Photos of the injuries were shown to the court. The victim sustained cuts, bruises and felt unsteady on his feet. Sgt Collins said the man declined to provide a victim impact statement.

Joyce was arrested in an upstairs room of the property, and his clothes were seized. Nothing of evidential value was obtained during his garda interview.

Joyce has 40 previous convictions, including two for assault. He is currently serving a sentence on another matter.

Sgt Collins agreed with Oisin Clarke BL, defending, that Joyce appeared intoxicated and was initially deemed unfit for interview following arrest.

The garda told defence counsel that he couldn't dispute Joyce's claim that the incident lasted around 20 minutes.

Mr Clarke said his client's life was “spiralling out of control” at the time of this incident.

His client's parents both suffered from addiction issues, and he went to live with his grandparents at a young age.

Mr Clarke said his client was homeless and living on the streets at the age of 19. His client developed addiction issues, including alcohol and cocaine. Joyce is the father of two children.

Defence counsel said his client worked in restaurants but lost his job when the Covid-19 pandemic started and relapsed.

A number of documents were handed into the court from the prison service. Joyce is engaging with counselling services while in custody, has completed modules from the alternative to violence course and is an enhanced prisoner.

Mr Clarke asked Judge Nolan to consider not extending his client's sentence beyond his current release date of 2027.

Judge Nolan said Joyce had subjected his neighbour to a “savage” assault.

He said the injured party must have been “terrified” and in “fear for his life”.

Judge Nolan noted that Joyce said the incident lasted 20 minutes, but it “must have been a lifetime” for the victim.

Judge Nolan said the mitigating factors include the guilty plea, Joyce's remorse, and work history.

Judge Nolan said he would impose a sentence of between eight and nine years if Joyce were not already serving a sentence.

He said Joyce deserved an extension to his time in prison and handed Joyce a four-year sentence to run consecutively to the existing current sentence.


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