Sunday 25 March 2018

Man assaulted two women during botched robbery in Dublin 4 hotel, court told

The Courts of Criminal Justice
The Courts of Criminal Justice

Declan Brennan and Aaron Rogan

A man who assaulted a cleaner and a receptionist during a botched robbery of a hotel room has been sentenced to two and a half years.

Mark Kelly (36) pleaded guilty to two offences of assault causing harm at The Schoolhouse Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin on 24 February 2014.

Kelly punched the cleaner Joan Mulligan in the face when she found him going through a bag in a downstairs room. She called for help and Kelly struck the receptionist Irene Carroll in the chest when she arrived, causing her to fall and hit her head. He was restrained at the scene until Gardai arrived.

Kelly of Brian Boru Street, Clontarf, Dublin also received a sentence of three years for a burglary at Kincora Road, Clontarf on February 23, 2012. He was caught after he ran in front of a garda patrol car while being chased by the victim of the burglary with a garden hoe.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring imposed the two and a half years for the hotel assaults to run consecutively to the three years for the burglary, which was backdated to July 2013.

Garda Sarah McArdle told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that she arrested Kelly after he ran down a cul-de-sac and tried unsuccessfully to climb across a wall.

In his victim impact report the homeowner David Wheefer asked the court to consider ordering the recovering heroin addict to take part in drug treatment services instead of jailing him.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring described Mr Wheefer's attitude to Kelly as "very generous". The victim said he knows Kelly and knows about his addiction problems and said that at no time during the burglary did Kelly injure anyone.

Mr Wheefer confronted Kelly in the upstairs bedroom of his home after the victim’s daughter told her father she heard noises from upstairs.

The burglar threatened him before running out of the house. Mr Wheefer grabbed a garden hoe to defend himself and tried to corner Kelly and then chased after him.

Kelly has spent over 13 years of the last 15 years in custody. He appealed to the court for help, saying: "I've been here so long. I'm on a roller coaster and I can't get off it. I feel like my life is not worth living. I'm broke.”

"I accept it's my fault for everything I've done. I brought it on myself." He said that he finds it difficult to cope when he is released from custody.

He apologised for his crimes and said he was taking cocaine at the time of the burglary.

Kelly has 34 previous convictions including burglary and robbery. He received a four year jail sentence in 2012 for aggravated burglary which was suspended but later activated in October 2013.

Fiona Murphy BL, defending, said Kelly's life spiralled out of control when he was in his twenties and he became addicted to heroin. She said he stopped abusing heroin in 2006.

He was also sentenced to two years after admitting to taking part in a robbery of an iPhone and wallet on Harcourt Street on July 23, 2012.

The court heard he put his arms around a "very drunk" man and escorted him up the street before later helping two others to pull him to the ground and go through his pockets. He said he didn't know the other men intended to rob the drunk man on Harcourt Street.

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