independent

Friday 25 April 2014

Young mother joined boyfriend in savage attack on elderly homeless man, court hears

The Central Criminal Court

A young mother acted as a lookout and joined in on a "savage" attack in which a man "danced" on the head of an elderly homeless man, a court has heard.

Rachel Keogh kicked the victim at least three times while her co-accused stamped on the man's head and chest more than ten times.

Keogh (21) of Casino Park, Marino, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery of Noel Quinn at Inn’s Quays on November 29, 2011. She will be sentenced in April.

Garda Paul Cullen told Maurice Coffey BL that the victim was sleeping rough around midnight inside the pillars of the Four Courts building and was in his sleeping bag with his arms inside.

Keogh and her then boyfriend walked by and that man, who is before the courts, asked the victim for a cigarette before launching into the attack.

The victim later told gardai: "He kept stamping on my face. He was dancing on my face and chest. I couldn't believe it".

During the assault Keogh looked up and down the street while the assault continued and also kicked him. The attack stopped for a short time but the male attacker came back to the victim and began punching and kicking the man again.

He took €45 from the victim, which was all the money he had, the court heard.

The attack was recorded on CCTV cameras and the pair were identified. Keogh told gardai that the attack stopped because they believed the man was dead and they ran away.

She said she later picked up a broken bottle and began cutting herself. She told gardai that during the attack the victim was choking on his own blood and that blood was coming out of his mouth and nose.

Mr Coffey said that despite the savagery of the assault the victim sustained only minor injuries.

Counsel for Keogh, Kathleen Leader BL, said that the mother of one was under the influence of her co-accused, who is a man with 168 previous convictions and a propensity for violence.

Keogh has 13 previous convictions, including theft, trespass and handling stolen property.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring said that Keogh has not co-operated with the Probation Services and has been previously given every opportunity. She said an immediate custodial sentence was the only option for Keogh.

After hearing more submissions from defence counsel the judge agreed to adjourn sentencing to April but remanded Keogh in custody.

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