Sean Doherty (29) of Rory O’Connor House, Dublin city pleaded guilty to robbery on July 7, 2017. He has 25 previous convictions, including convictions for burglary, aggravated burglary, production of an article, assault causing harm, public order offences, and misuse of drugs.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard the victim had gone out for drinks in Dublin city centre. At the end of his night out at around 3am a man approached him and they began talking.
The men were keen to continue drinking but as the bars were now closed the victim invited the accused back to his apartment for drinks. The men continued to drink for about an hour. When the man finished his drink, he said he was going to leave and get a taxi.
On his way out of the apartment, Doherty turned and said, “I think I am going to rob you”. He said he had a knife and told the victim, “I’m in the IRA”. The victim ran to his living room and grabbed his mobile phone but Doherty struck him twice on the head with an empty vodka bottle.
The victim ran to his balcony to escape Doherty and when he returned to the living room, he noticed his mobile phone had been taken. He went to Kevin Street Garda Station and was brought to St James Hospital for treatment, receiving stitches to the head.
Diane Stuart, BL, prosecuting, told the court that the accused was identified on CCTV, and on March 28, 2018, Doherty was charged and brought before the courts. Garda Kate Bracken told the court that Doherty was on bail at the time of his offence and is currently serving a five-year prison sentence.
The injured party read out his victim impact statement, where he highlighted that he had “suffered physical injuries, and said, “I am lucky to be alive”. He also said, “I was traumatised by the incident”.
Gda Bracken agreed with Carol Doherty, BL, defending, that her client had had mental health issues and had been diagnosed with a personality disorder and had been taking antipsychotic medication.
The court heard that Doherty had a very troubled background and lost his father in violent circumstances when he was ten.
Passing sentence today/yesterday (THURS), Judge James McCourt said he must consider the gravity of this crime and the consequences of the crime on society as a whole and on the injured party.
Judge McCourt said the aggravating factors, in this case, were Doherty's previous convictions and the level of violence. Noted that the crime was committed while you were on bail he set an initial sentence of seven and a half years.
After taking into consideration Doherty's guilty plea, his mental health issues, his apology and remorse, his long-term dependency on drugs and his chaotic, troubled and problematic childhood, Judge McCourt reduced the prison term to four years to run consecutively to his current prison sentence.