Thursday 19 April 2018

Man who robbed pensioner and attacked him with hammer jailed for five years

Stock picture
Stock picture

Declan Brennan and Sonya McLean

A man who robbed a pensioner and attacked him with a hammer when the victim resisted has been jailed for five years.

Warren Brennan (25) targeted his victim after the man had withdrawn €5,000 cash from a bank to give to his family.

Wearing a motorcycle helmet and waving a claw hammer Brennan went up to the 71-year-old man and started shouting “give me the money”. When the victim refused and called him a “scumbag” Brennan hit him repeatedly with the hammer around the head and body.

The victim was knocked to the ground and Brennan punched him in the face. The victim managed to pull Brennan's helmet off and tried to gouge into his eyes.

Brennan then bit down on the victim's thumb breaking the skin before running off with the cash. The man told gardai that he thought the attacker was going to bite his thumb off.

He was released from hospital later with no serious problems. In a victim impact report he said that every time he sees a hammer or motorcycle helmet he has flash backs of the attack. He said he thinks this will continue for the rest of his life.

Brennan of Pearse House, Pearse Street, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery at Alderwood Park, Tallaght on October 27, 2015.

He has 54 previous convictions including convictions for possession of firearms, theft, burglary and assault. In 2011 he was jailed for three years for carrying out an attempted robbery during which he held a gun to a shop assistant’s head.

Brennan was on bail at the time of this robbery on a charge of aggravated burglary at a bookmakers on Lombard Street, Dublin city on December 20, 2014. He has since pleaded guilty to this offence and to resisting a garda on the same occasion.

He was armed with a kitchen knife during this robbery and he tried to stab gardai with it as they tried to arrest him.

Judge Catherine Murphy told Brennan she recognised him from dealing with him in the Children's Court a decade ago.

“I told you you needed to get your act together and start living a crime free life,” she told the accused. “What I said to you clearly didn't have the effect it was supposed to.

“I have no doubt you're capable of changing life if you decide to keep away from drugs or alcohol,” the judge said.

Judge Murphy imposed consecutive sentences totalling seven years and suspended the final two years on strict conditions.

The judge described the robbery as “particularly nasty” and said that Brennan had used “gratuitous violence”. She said the elderly victim “is never going to be the same man again”.

She said both of the crimes “were very well thought out and deliberate”.

Sean Gillane SC, defending, said his client had a difficult childhood after been “born into addiction” but was lucky enough to be parented by his maternal grandparents.

His grandfather died when he was a young teenager. Counsel said this “led to a loss of direction in his own life” and Brennan then became a daily abuser of serious drugs and began offending.

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