Friday 28 July 2017

Judge agrees to give one last chance to convicted sex offender who failed to meet with Probation Officers

Munir Ghariani (26) formerly of Granitefield, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin leaves the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today. Pic Collins Courts.
Munir Ghariani (26) formerly of Granitefield, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin leaves the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today. Pic Collins Courts.
Munir Ghariani (26) formerly of Granitefield, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin leaves the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today. Pic Collins Courts.

Liz Farsaci & Declan Brennan

A judge has agreed to give one last chance to a convicted sex offender who poses a risk to public safety.

Munir Ghariani (26) received a suspended jail term last May after he admitted attacking a woman on a street “for the thrill”. At the time, Judge Melanie Greally warned Ghariani that she would have “no hesitation” in reactivating the three-year sentence if he broke any of the conditions for his release.

Today the Probation Service brought the case back before Judge Greally because of his failure to meet with Probation Officers.

His probation officer Michelle Richardson said she had not seen him in person since his sentencing. She said that a man posing such a risk to public safety as Ghariani needs to present himself regularly to the Probation Service.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard Ghariani is also charged with breaches of the Sex Offenders Act because of alleged failures to notify authorities of his address.

Michael Bowman SC, defending, said that his client had a background of difficulties but had been taking his anti-psychotic medication.

Munir Ghariani (26) formerly of Granitefield, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin leaves the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today. Pic Collins Courts.
Munir Ghariani (26) formerly of Granitefield, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin leaves the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today. Pic Collins Courts.

Judge Greally agreed to put the matter back for two weeks. She said if Ghariani did not turn up for two weekly meetings in that time he would be jailed.

Ghariani, formerly of Granitefield, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin had pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery of the woman, a Chinese national, on Granville Road, Cabinteely on March 21, 2016.

The victim was on her way home from a lecture in UCD when she noticed Ghariani following close behind her. He repeatedly asked to use her phone as he walked behind her.

The woman refused and he asked why. Ghariani then pushed her to the ground and tried to grab the phone. During the struggle he bit her finger in an attempt to get her to release the phone.

The woman screamed for help as Ghariani attempted to flee but a passer-by tackled and held him until gardaí arrived.

Ghariani has 34 previous convictions including one for sexual assault after he groped a woman from behind as she was taking money out of an ATM. He was registered as a sex offender for that offence.

His other convictions include indecency, burglary and theft. The court heard he was on bail for a similar offence at the time of this robbery.

The court previously heard that Ghariani became an involuntary patient at St John of God’s hospital in south Dublin on April 3 of this year.

Ms Richardson previously told the court she and her colleagues considered him “high-risk” and said it was essential he continue to take his anti-psychotic medications.

Ms Richardson said Ghariani had been “non-compliant” with his medication in the past.

“We feel we have to adopt a high-risk approach,” said Ms Richardson, adding that the probation service would continue to meet with him for two years.

She said Ghariani had recently become homeless, and so she had liaised with local authorities who had agreed to provide him with accommodation.

Judge Greally imposed a four-year sentence and, taking into account the time Ghariani has spent in custody on this matter, backdated the sentence to May 19, 2016. She suspended the balance of the sentence.

She referred to the “disturbing nature” of the robbery, and said she was “mindful of the high risk he presents to the community”.

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