Wednesday 26 October 2016

Drug addict jailed after robbing mother walking baby in buggy

Declan Brennan

Published 15/04/2015 | 17:17

Woman walking with pram (Getty Images)
Woman walking with pram (Getty Images)

A drug addict who was on bail for an attempted robbery when he robbed a mother out walking her baby in a buggy has been jailed for three years.

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Jamie O’Hara (20) went up to Lisa Warren while she was crossing her local park in Tallaght around lunchtime with her four-year-old daughter and a four month old baby in a push chair.

O’Hara started grabbing at her bag which was strapped around the buggy. The victim feared her baby would fall out and so kept hold of the bag.

Eventually she let go and he took the bag. She told him there were only nappies in it and he came back and asked her for money or for her mobile phone.

When she gave him her phone he said “that’s a fucking Nokia” and he then tried unsuccessfully to unlock it after asking her for the code.

He asked her to promise it was the right code, saying: “Swear on the kids or I’ll hurt you. I’ll fucking kill you”. He then cycled off and told her not to contact gardai.

The victim was extremely anxious and frightened during the attack and felt O’Hara was capable of doing anything, the court heard. She cried for days afterwards and suffered panic attacks.

Garda Daragh Kelly said that she now feels constantly anxious when outside.

O’Hara of Killinarden Estate, Tallaght, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery of a phone at Sean Walsh Park, Tallaght on September 9, 2014.

He also admitted stealing a mobile phone at Old Blessington Road, Tallaght and stealing a purse at the South Dublin County Council offices on the same date.

He was on bail at the time for two other offences committed earlier that year. He pleaded guilty to the attempted robbery of a mobile phone on May 13 and to unlawfully producing a knife to intimidate on June 30, both at Sean Walsh Park.

Adam Treacy and his girlfriend were walking across the park when O’Hara came up to them on a bicycle and pulled a kitchen knife on them.

He told Mr Treacy to give him his phone but the victim had hidden it. O’Hara then pointed the knife at the woman causing Mr Treacy to step between her and the robber.

O’Hara told the victim: “If you touch me I will stick the knife in your neck.” The woman then told the robber they didn’t have anything and O’Hara cycled off.

The following month he attacked Mr Treacy again and punched him twice in the face.

The accused later told gardaí he couldn’t remember the attacks and suggested they get a barring order for him for the park.

Defence counsel Sarah Jane Callaghan BL said her client was deeply remorseful about his crimes and is a very different person when he is not on drugs.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring said that the local park is now a much safer place than it was with O’Hara in custody. She suspended the last year of a four year sentence on all counts on condition that O’Hara go under the supervision of the Probation Services for that time.

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