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clamp rage Furious builder threatened to put grenade in clamper's mouth

The car pound worker who had been overseeing the clamping of the van was repeatedly pushed and shoved at the car pound after the van was impounded

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Stuart Cromer leaving court. Photo: Collins

Stuart Cromer leaving court. Photo: Collins

Stuart Cromer leaving court. Photo: Collins

Two builders assaulted a street clamper after a work van was impounded, with one of the men telling the terrified worker: “I'll put a grenade in your mouth”, a court has heard.

Stuart Cromer (43) and Michael Jones (27), along with four of their co-workers, went to the car pound at Harold's Cross in April 2016 after Cromer's van was clamped and towed for being illegally parked on South William Street in the city centre.

The two men pushed and shoved the car pound worker who had overseen the clamping of the van, with Cromer the main instigator, the court heard.

Cromer then made the grenade threat before the worker allowed the men to empty the van of its tools. They then left without the van.

Both men pleaded guilty to assaulting the man at Dublin Street Parking Services at Harolds Cross Road, Dublin on April 4, 2016. Cromer also pleaded guilty to making a threat to kill on the same date.

He runs his own roofing and building business and Jones was his employee at the time, the court heard.

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Michael Jones in 2018. Photo: Collins

Michael Jones in 2018. Photo: Collins

Michael Jones in 2018. Photo: Collins

Today, Cromer, with an address at Hazelwood Avenue, Hartstown, Clonsilla, Dublin was given a six-month suspended sentence while Jones, with an address at Whitestown Drive, Mulhuddart, Dublin was given a four-month sentence.

Jones is currently serving a five-year sentence for dangerous driving causing death, and Judge Martin Nolan set the sentence to ensure he does not spend more time in prison on this offence. He is due to be released in September.

Sentencing the men, Judge Nolan said they had behaved “disgracefully” and their victim was “properly terrified” and intimidated by their actions. He noted Cromer was the leader of the “mob” who went to the car pound that day because he was irate that his van had been clamped.

He ordered Cromer to pay the victim a sum of €5,000 within six months as a token of his remorse.

CCTV footage played in court showed Cromer pushing the worker across a room, while Jones kicked at the door until Cromer let him in and he too then joined in the assault.

The other four men waited outside. They are not before the courts.

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Detective Garda Richard Hansen told Diana Stuart BL, prosecuting, that gardaí were called to the scene by staff during the incident. They arrived just after the men had left and they recognised Cromer and Jones from the CCTV footage.

Keith Spencer BL, defending Cromer, said his client is extremely remorseful for his actions.

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Stuart Cromer leaving court. Photo: Collins

Stuart Cromer leaving court. Photo: Collins

Stuart Cromer leaving court. Photo: Collins

He had suffered a head injury shortly before the incident and was struggling with anger issues at the time, the court heard. He has since undergone anger management counselling.

The court heard his roofing and building business is “thriving” and he employs a number of people.

He has five previous convictions for burglary and larceny, which date back to 2000. He has lived a “blameless” life in the 22 years since then, Mr Spencer said.

Sean Prendiville BL, defending Jones, said he was employed by Cromer at the time of the offence and has been promised work with him again when he is released from prison.

He was jailed for five years in 2018 for dangerous driving causing the death of Hong Qing Qu, a father of two, at Blanchardstown in November 2015. He has 16 previous convictions.

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