Saturday 24 August 2019

Man who was 'off his face' falsely imprisoned female student in 'bizarre' late-night incident

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Stock picture

Declan Brennan

A man has been jailed for falsely imprisoning a female student in what was described in court as “a bizarre” incident.

John Ryan (35) had taken ten sleeping tablets before arriving at a house in Kimmage, Dublin and forcing his way into the home.

Ryan of Cashel Avenue, Crumlin, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to false imprisonment of a young woman and burglary at an address in Kimmage, Dublin on February 9, 2015.

Ryan told the female students living there that he had a gun and began rummaging in a rucksack. The women ran upstairs and Ryan followed them into a bedroom where he told them to lay down on the floor and tie themselves up with electrical extension cords.

One of the women ran out of the bedroom and downstairs and Ryan ran after her. He left the house and gardaí arrived shortly afterwards.

While gardaí were speaking to the residents, one of them pointed out that Ryan was still standing across the road. Gardaí spoke to him and arrested him but he was not in a fit state to be interviewed.

Judge Martin Nolan said Ryan had behaved in a bizarre way and terrified the students. He said the fact that he had taken the tablets was no excuse for his actions but accepted that Ryan didn't set out to break into the house or imprison anybody.

He said he had to take into consideration Ryan's co-operation with gardaí, his personal difficulties in life and his criminal record. He imposed a prison sentence of 21 months.

Ryan's previous convictions include two robberies committed in 2008 when he had very serious heroin addiction. He also had convictions for possession of a knife and burglary.

Paul Carroll BL, defending, said that this incident was completely out of character for Ryan and that the victim told gardaí that Ryan appeared to be “off his face”.

“Bizarre things were happening and bizarre things were being said,” he said. Ryan had met the victim on the garden path up to her front door and asked if he could show her something.

He had his son's school bag with him and began showing her school books. She kept trying to give them back to him and then his attitude changed.

He asked if there was a solicitor living at the house and then asked if he could come in and look at the layout of the building. She became scared at this point.

He then put his hand on the door and pushed his way in. The women inside began screaming and Ryan told them he wasn't going to hurt them and this caused them to panic.

He said that there were people in the house that owed him money for crack and cannabis.

Ryan later told gardaí that he realised how serious his actions were and that he didn't know what had got into him. He said he had taken the tablets after a row with his partner.

He said he had never set out to harm any women and was sorry for frightening them. Ryan is a full time carer for his wife, who is almost completely blind from a progressive illness.

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