horror crimes | 

Man (20) with 78 previous convictions is jailed after attacking woman on e-scooter

The woman told gardai that she was terrified as she felt she was going to die

The attack happened on O'Connell Street (Stock picture)

Declan Brennan and Claire Henry

A 20-year-old with 78 previous convictions has been jailed for two violent street attacks.

In February 2021, Benjamin Morrissey used a pair of scissors to attack a “terrified” woman in an attempt to get her electric scooter off her on O'Connell Street in Dublin.

In an earlier attack, Morrissey stabbed a man in the neck, leaving him with an four inch wound to his neck and suffering nerve damage.

The victim, Daniel Shortt, told gardai he knew Morrissey but he had no idea why Morrissey attacked him.

Morrissey, formerly of Backpackers Citi Hostel, Gardiner Street Lower, Dublin and Queens Housing Quarter, Belfast, Antrim pleaded guilty to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Daniel Shortt on St Augustine Street, Dublin 8 on August 9, 2020.

He also pleaded guilty to attempted robbery of BB Sondegur on February 5, 2021.

The victim told gardai that she had finished work in a dental hospital that evening and was walking with her husband along O'Connell St while holding her electric scooter.

She said a short man came up to her and suddenly produced a scissors and swung it towards her husband.

The court heard her husband had to duck and the attacker then went to stab the woman, catching her in the arm and cutting the padding of her coat.

The woman told gardai that she was terrified as she felt she was going to die. She said the man was trying to grab her scooter and said, “Give me the scooter or I'll kill you”.

The woman's husband began shouting at the attacker who ran away. The woman chased him and caught up with him and asked him, “Why did you stab me?”

Morrissey then pointed the scissors at the woman and her husband ran up.

A doorman from a nearby venue knew Morrissey and came up to him and told him to drop the knife and the man held onto Morrissey until gardaí arrived.

The court heard his previous convictions include assaults, drug dealing, criminal damage, theft and public order offences.

Dean Kelly SC, defending, said his client had a childhood of neglect.

Judge Elma Sheahan outlined the serious nature of the offence, with the victims suffering both physically and emotionally.

She also noted that Morrissey was on bail at the time of attempted robbery.

Judge Sheahan said she was taking into consideration the mitigating factors of Morrissey's difficult childhood and upbringing, his guilty plea and cooperation throughout the investigation.

She sentenced Morrissey to eight years in prison but suspended the last two years. She also backdated this sentence for the time already served.

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