Saturday 18 November 2017

Solicitor has lip burst after she pursued man who took her phone, court hears

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Aoife Nic Ardghail

A DUBLIN drug addict who burst a solicitor's lip after she had pursued him for taking her phone has been jailed for two years.

Aaron Carey (28) punched Aine Ni Riain, a district court solicitor, in the face a first time when he took her phone while she was on her way home from work.

Carey, who was residing at Judge Darleys Hostel, Parkgate Street, Dublin at the time, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting Ms Ni Riain causing her harm at Benburb Street and at Wolfe Tone Quay on January 24, 2015.

The father-of-two has 45 previous convictions, including thefts, drug offences and public order incidents.

The court heard Ms Ni Riain followed Carey and grabbed onto him as he changed his clothes a short distance away, but he punched her again and escaped with the phone.

Garda Brian Graydon said a colleague encountered Carey and another male trying to sell the phone on Moore Street two days later.

Gda Graydon told John Byrne BL, prosecuting, that Ms Ni Riain had been on her phone when she felt a “forceful punch” to her face. She saw the culprit jump over the wall into the Croppies Acre park and got onto the quays on the other side.

Ms Ni Riain went after Carey and found him changing his clothes on the quays, where he punched her again and burst her top lip.

Gda Graydon told Mr Byrne that he identified Carey on CCTV from Judge Darleys Hostel and arrested the assailant a number of days later.

He said Carey had since been fined €200 in the district court for handling Ms Ni Riain's stolen phone, which was returned to her.

The garda agreed with Luigi Rea BL, defending, that Carey had been living on the streets and in hostels at the time because of his drug addiction.

Gda Graydon accepted Carey had committed the crime to feed his alcohol and tablets problem, but added that he hadn't appeared to be under the influence of anything from the CCTV..

Mr Rea submitted to Judge Martin Nolan that his client regretted his actions. had completed educational courses and a charity run while in prison.

Judge Nolan said Ms Ni Riain was “made of tough stuff” and came across as a “very determined lady”. He acknowledged that Carey's ambition was to be a good father and imposed a two year sentence.

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