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Man who punched and stripped young man before stealing his car sentenced

'If you go to the gardaí, we will kill you'

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Claire Henry

A Dublin man who forced his way into a property, punched, stripped, and stole a young man’s car, has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

Garda Karl O’Neill told Elma Duffy BL, prosecuting, that he responded to a 999 call on the 27 April 2020. He said that Edward Babos had been visiting his friend’s house and playing on his X-box when they heard banging at the door.

When Mr Babos’s friend opened the door, two men pushed inside. Gerry Connors (25) and Myles Connors hit Mr Babos repeatedly and picked up scissors which they both threatened him with.

Myles Connors cut chunks of hair from Mr Babos and told him he would “jam the scissors in his eye.” Both men then began to do lines of coke while repeatedly punching Mr Babos.

The men searched Mr Babos and made him strip down to his underwear. They found his car keys in his pocket and told him they would go to an ATM to get money. The court heard that the incident in the house lasted for between twenty to thirty minutes.

On route to the car, they both kicked and shouted at Mr Babos. Myles Connors then entered the driver’s seat with Gerry Connors forcing Mr Babos into the car.

The car mounted the curb several times during the car journey, with a loud bang being heard. Finally, the men stopped the car, and on exiting the car, Gerry Connors kicked both wing mirrors of the car and kicked and dented the car’s body.

Gerry Connors told Mr Babos, “If you go to the gardaí, we will kill you.” However, Mr Babos managed to drive the car to his home and called the gardaí.

Michael Bowman SC, defending, said that his client travelled to the UK immediately after this incident, where he stayed for three days. On his return, he contacted the gardaí and presented for interview where he made a full admission.

The court heard that Gerry Connors is extremely sorry, and if he could take back his actions, he would. He is now living at home with his parents and is in full-time employment while helping his mother take care of his father.

Mr Bowman told the court that his client had provided clean urine analysis for over eighteen months.

Gerry Connors, of Bearna Park, Sandyford, also pleaded guilty to the robbery of Aaron Campbell on 12 November 2018. Gda O’Neill told the court that Aaron Campbell was walking home when he was set upon by three men, one of whom was Gerry Connors.

Connors threatened Mr Campbell and shouted, “Hand over every bit of weed that you have.” A set of Apple headphones, €150 and cigarettes were taken. The man was also instructed to delete the apps on his phone by a second man, Myles Connors, who had produced a knife.

Mr Campbell was afraid that he would be stabbed, and he was also in fear for his family as the men said they knew where he lived. Mr Campbell contacted the gardaí and Gerry Connors was arrested.

Brian Gageby BL, defending, told the court his client had not been the instigator of this robbery and had pleaded guilty at an early stage.

During his sentencing summary, Judge Martin Nolan said that these were very serious and violent offences. He outlined that the purpose of the court is not only to rehabilitate but also to punish and act as a deterrent.

Judge Nolan outlined the significant steps that Connors has taken to reform and rehabilitate since these offences. He takes the guilty pleas and the difficult family upbringing that Connors had into consideration.

On the count of robbery of Mr Campbell, Judge Nolan sentenced Connors to two years in prison.

On the count of false imprisonment of Mr Babos, he sentenced Connors to four years in prison with the final eighteen months suspended, on condition that Connors keeps the peace and is of good behaviour and remains under the supervision of the probation services for eighteen months post-release.

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