Saturday 3 December 2016

Thief stole mobile phone from man who lay unconscious after street attack

Published 28/07/2016 | 17:16

The attack happened at a Luas stop
The attack happened at a Luas stop

A Dublin man has been given a two and a half year sentence for robbing a mobile phone from a man who lay unconscious on the ground after being attacked last April.

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Lewis Smith (19) of Glenshane Grove, Tallaght, Dublin plead guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery at the Fortunestown City West Luas stop on April 17 2015.

He was one of two men who attacked and robbed the bystander who was travelling home from work.

The man was tripped and fell onto the Luas tracks and was then kicked and punched unconscious. His mobile phone, worth €400, was stolen as he lay unconscious on the ground.

Garda Stephen Murray said the victim spent three days in hospital suffering from concussion. The court heard he suffered from amnesia following the attack and was unable to tell hospital staff his name.

Eilis Brennan B, prosecuting, told Judge Sarah Berkeley that the attack and robbery took place while Smith was on bail for another offence. Smith has 13 previous convictions, mainly for burglary, criminal damage and possession of knives.

The victim told gardaí that he was waiting on a Luas to go home and the next thing he remembered is waking up in hospital. The court heard he still suffers nerve pain in his neck and wrist.

In his victim impact report the 38-year-old said he came to Ireland 17 years ago because his life was in danger in war-torn Liberia. He hid in a boat for 22 hours to get to the safety of this country, he wrote.

The assault had since changed his whole outlook on life and he now felt that his life could be taken at any moment and at any place. He said he went from being happy and outgoing to being very nervous and afraid.

“I feel like I am in a shell. I feel violated. I'm not the same man,” he wrote.

Judge Berkeley said it was “an unprovoked vicious assault on a man returning home from work”.

She also said she was aware Smith wrote a letter of apology to the victim and that Smith’s cousin died in similar circumstances following an assault.

She sentenced Smith to two and a half years with the final six months suspended and instructed him to engage with the probation services for 12 months after his release and to follow their instructions regarding education, employment and drug treatment including urine analysis.

George Burns BL defending, said Smith was willing to engage with the probation services and addiction counselling but these services were not available to him while on remand in Cloverhill Prison.

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