A man armed with a lump hammer who attacked a dog owner out for a walk with his French bulldog before stealing the animal has been jailed for two years.
Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard that father-of-four, Michael Molloy of An Faill, Cúl Árd, Carrigtohill, Co Cork was captured on his own home CCTV system taking the animal from his car having stolen it from its owner.
Det Garda Brian Murphy said the robbery, for which the 28-year-old entered a guilty plea, occurred on April 11th, 2021 at 4.30pm at Ballincollie Road, Ballyvolane in Cork city.
The French bulldog, Rocco, was stolen from his owner Denis McCarthy.
Det Garda Murphy said Mr McCarthy was walking the dog when a Ford Focus pulled up beside him.
A man, now known to be Mr Molloy, jumped out of the back of the vehicle, swung a lump hammer twice or three times in the direction of his head and demanded the dog be handed over. Mr Molloy grabbed the dog and took him into the Focus which was driven away, the court heard.
Crucially the dog owner managed to get partial registration details and gardaí traced it to Mr Molloy. The dog owner was reunited with his animal later that evening.
Mr McCarthy had launched a social media appeal in relation to the dog and thanked gardaí and their public for their help in tracing his pet.
Mr Molloy has been in custody since last April in relation to the offence.
Det Garda Murphy said that a crucial piece of evidence in the case was the defendant's own CCTV cameras installed outside his property. He said the CCTV footage harvested from the driveway cameras showed Molloy "running in to the house with Rocco concealed in the blanket".
Defence barrister Niamh Stewart said her client, who has 69 previous convictions, was employed prior to the pandemic. She attributed his actions to a "moment of madness". She added Molloy was a family man who unfortunately suffered from a drink and drug problem.
Judge O'Donnabhain said the dog owner was met with "considerable and gratuitous violence" as he went for a walk with his French bulldog.
"I will not tolerate this type of violent behaviour in pursuit of profit. This was an outrageous attack on this poor man. It caused significant upset," the judge said.
He jailed Molloy for two years, backdating the sentence to last April when he entered custody. He also disqualified Molloy from driving for a period of two years.