Tuesday 19 March 2019

Man who attacked householder in his home is jailed for four years

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)

Declan Brennan

A man who attacked a householder in his home has been jailed for four years.

Anthony Connors (42) attacked Michael Tonra after convincing the victim he was looking for a long lost friend in the neighbourhood.

Connors of South Richmond St, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary at Linenhall St, Dublin, on June 20, 2016.

Judge Karen O'Connor said this was a nasty and vicious offence and said the court must protect people from this type of behaviour.

She said Connors had violated the victim's home. She said Connor's plea of guilty and his history of drug abuse were mitigating factors.

She suspended the last year of a five year prison term on condition that Connors engage in Probation Service programmes to address violent offending and substance abuse.

Garda Aidan Noonan told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that Michael Tonra was putting his rubbish out when Connors stopped him and asked him about someone who he said lived in the area.

Mr Tonra believed Connors to be genuinely trying to track down an old friend. He offered to write down Connors' contact details to pass it on to the neighbour and went back into his house to get some pen and paper.

When he came back to the front door Connors was standing six feet into the hallway. Mr Tonra said to him “please get out” but Connors pushed him and tried to force his way past him.

Mr Tonra later told gardaí that Connors' demeanour had totally changed from normal to extremely intimidating and threatening to him in his own home.

Gda Noonan said that the homeowner stood his ground and in a violent struggle, the two men fell to the ground. The court heard Mr Tonra got the upper hand and pinned Connors to the ground and began to try to reason with him.

He asked Connors, “what's wrong, what can I do?” but Connors replied by saying he was going to punch him and threatening to return to the house later with other men.

Mr Tonra then banged Connors' head against the fireplace and pushed and kicked him towards the front door, the court heard. After he got Connors out the front door, Connors continued shouting and banging on the door and repeated his threat to come back later with others.

The court heard that when Connors realised his jacket, which had come off during the struggle, was inside the house he banged on the window and said: “I won’t come back but just give me my jacket”.

Mr Tonra rang gardaí and Connors left the scene. Gardai came to the house and found bail bonds and other documentation in Connors' name in the jacket. They were then able to get CCTV from a nearby courthouse from the same day that showed Connors wearing the jacket.

Gda Noonan said that Connors has 60 previous convictions including 16 for burglary, four for aggravated burglary, five for false imprisonment, ten for robbery and one for impersonating a garda.

Mark Lynam BL, defending, said his client had had a very difficult life and had spent most of his life in prison.

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