The young victim of a violent late-night mugging has told a court that he forgives the man who punched him and took his phone.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that in the early hours of September 13th, 2018, a 19-year-old student at Trinity College was out socialising with some friends. Sometime after 2am the man was standing outside Londis on Westmoreland Street with his wallet in his hand.
The court heard a woman ran towards the victim, snatched the wallet out of his hand and ran off. The victim ran after the woman, and at Aston Place, he attempted to get his wallet back.
Garda Dabhach Dineen told Fiona McGowan, BL, prosecuting, that two other men then arrived and demanded the victim hand over his phone. One of these men was Anthony Dennis (37), of Lally Road, Ballyfermot.
The court heard Dennis punched the victim with force. The victim fell to the ground, and Dennis and three others searched through his pockets and took his phone.
The victim woke up the next day with very little memory of the assault. He also had a lump on the back of his head and pain in his jaw, the court heard.
He noticed his phone and wallet were missing and went to Store Street Garda station to report the crime.
Gardaí obtained CCTV footage from locations on Westmoreland Street and Aston Place, and Dennis was identified. Dennis, who had been due to stand trial for this incident, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm earlier this week.
Dennis has 330 previous convictions, which include convictions for assault causing harm, theft, drug offences, criminal damage, possession of an article, and road traffic offences.
A victim impact statement was handed into the court, outlining the victim's injuries.
In the statement the victim, who is now 21, said that he is more cautious walking around Dublin but added that he forgives Dennis for his actions.
Rebecca Smith, BL, defending, told the court her client had written a letter of apology expressing his regret and remorse, which had been accepted by the injured party. The court heard Dennis had a difficulty with drugs at the time of the offence.
Judge Pauline Codd said the offending conduct was greatly aggravated by the fact that Dennis had similar previous convictions and had been on bail at the time of the assault.
From the CCTV footage, the judge noted Dennis had punched the injured party with force and then proceeded, with three others, to search his pockets while he lay on the ground.
Judge Codd noted the accused’s guilty plea, his apology to the injured party, and his personal circumstances. She sentenced him to five years in prison but suspended the final year on the condition that Dennis keep the peace and be of good behaviour for one year post-release.
Judge Codd backdated the sentence for the time already served.