A Dublin man who assaulted a pregnant woman during a playdate and threatened to “kick that baby out” of her has been jailed for five years.
Jack Murphy (23) also engaged in the robbery of an Iceland and Tesco supermarkets two days after being released from prison, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard on Tuesday.
Murphy, with an address at Kilbarron Road, Kilmore, Dublin 5, pleaded guilty to one count of robbery, one count of theft, one count of assault and a threat to kill.
The court heard that on April 11th, 2021, Murphy was at his partner's house where her child was playing with another child.
The children began to argue, which resulted in Murphy getting extremely agitated. When the child's mother arrived to collect her child, she could see that her child was upset, and she found out Murphy had shouted at her child.
The woman confronted Murphy, and he ran at her and hit her on the shoulder. He was about to strike her into the chest when he was pulled away. The court heard this woman was pregnant at the time, and later that evening, Murphy saw her and shouted: "I will kick that baby out of you".
Three days later, Murphy phoned the woman, where he stated that he had been questioned for six hours following a complaint she had made to the gardaí. He called her for a second time and said he "wasn't going to let it go". He also threatened both her and her child.
Following on from these phone calls, Murphy then went on to assault her partner by hitting him with a metal pole on the wrist and in the ribs. Murphy was later arrested and answered "No comment" when questioned by gardaí.
In relation to the robbery offences, Detective Garda Michael McCabe told the court that an employee in the Iceland supermarket in Newton Industrial Estate in Coolock was working on the till on March 3rd, 2021 when he heard a man shouting: "Open the till, open the till."
The man's face was covered with a scarf, and he was holding a screwdriver in his hand. He gained access to the till and grabbed money from the till. He then proceeded to a second till. Once again, he grabbed a sum of money and left the shop.
The court heard both employees were in fear during the robbery, while one employee said her legs went to jelly once the accused left the shop.
CCTV footage was downloaded, and Murphy was identified.
Later that day, security staff at the Tesco store in Artane observed Murphy acting suspiciously. After further observation, he was seen placing several bottles of vodka into a bag. Murphy then left the shop without paying and was stopped by staff outside the shop.
Murphy gave the staff at Tesco his name and left the shop and gardaí were called. Gardaí arrested and interviewed Murphy a few days later, where he stated he had no memory of the robbery, but once he viewed the CCTV footage, he agreed that it was him on the footage.
Simon Matthews BL, defending, told the court that his client was fully cooperative and made a full admission once he viewed the CCTV footage. He also stated that his client has mental health issues and became involved in drug-taking at an early age.
The court heard that Murphy carried out these offences two days after being released from prison and he has 55 previous convictions.
Sentencing Murphy on Tuesday, Judge Martin Nolan said Murphy had terrified the staff at the Iceland supermarket. In addition, he said that Murphy had gotten involved in a dispute between children, which resulted in him threatening to kill on more than one occasion and carrying out a physical assault.
Judge Nolan said: "The courts must sentence on the basis of criminal behaviour, and without a doubt, this case demands a prison sentence."
He took into consideration Murphy's mental health issues and his early guilty pleas. The support and presence of his parents in court.
Judge Nolan sentenced him to two years in prison for the robbery and theft at both Iceland and Tesco and a consecutive four and a half years for the physical assault.
The final 18 months were suspended under the conditions that Murphy be of good behaviour while in custody and for 18 months post-release. He must also stay under the supervision of the Probation Services for 18 months.