| 11.4°C Dublin

Six months Man who punched cafe owner in the face after attempting to steal tip jar is jailed

Ryan Clarke (32) was tackled by staff and a member of the public who held him at the scene until gardaí arrived


Stock photo

Stock photo

Stock photo

A man who punched a cafe owner in the face when he was stopped stealing a tip jar from the counter has been jailed for six months.

Ryan Clarke (32) was tackled by staff and a member of the public who held him at the scene until gardaí arrived.

He was also found with a "sharpened metal pole" while sitting in a city centre doorway in another incident.

Clarke, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court to assault and attempted theft at Middle Abbey Street on October 25 last year.

He also admitted possession of a weapon at Henry Street on June 28.


The cases came back before Judge Bryan Smyth for the production of a victim impact statement, which was submitted to the court.

His defence said the accused had drug and alcohol problems and was in "very bad shape" at the time of the offences.

A lot of members of his family suffered from a serious inherited disease and "that may have been what fuelled" Clarke's problems, she said.

Alcohol and drugs were not an excuse but an explanation for what happened.

This could happen in lots of families but people did not go out and commit assaults, Judge Smyth said.

The accused was already serving a sentence for another offence when he appeared in court.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Judge Smyth imposed the six-month sentence on the weapons charge and took the other into consideration.

Previously, the court heard Clarke tried to order a drink at the cafe and began shouting at staff who refused to serve him and asked him to leave.

Clarke then tried to steal the tip jar.

The owner went around the counter to stop him and Clarke punched him in the face, causing a small cut above the eye.

Another cafe worker came to help the victim and the accused fell to the floor, kicking out.

Clarke kicked the owner, who he had already assaulted, before trying to escape.

A member of the public helped the staff members keep him at the scene.

Gardaí found Clarke highly intoxicated and shouting abuse at the three men who were holding him.

In the other incident, gardaí found him in a doorway with a sharp implement. His defence said it was a clothes hanger.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

Top Videos

Available now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Podcasts.