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Addict avoids jail for cancer patient attack

A recovering drug addict who punched and stamped on a terminally ill cancer sufferer in a city centre alley way has received a suspended jail sentence.

Gerard Lowe (33) was caught on CCTV walking down a lane way and sharing chips with Kevin Malone.

He was later seen banging Mr Malone's head off the ground after the victim fell.

Lowe punched Mr Malone in the head as the victim tried to walk away. Lowe then stamped on his head.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Mr Malone had terminal cancer at the time and has since passed away.

He previously told gardai afterwards that the most upsetting part of the assault was that he couldn't defend himself because of his illness.

Lowe, formerly of Cunningham Road and North Great Charles Street, Dublin pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at North Lotts Lane on August 5, 2011. He also pleaded guilty to robbery of an iPhone on Moore Street four days later.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring described Lowe's attack on Mr Malone as "gratuitous and deliberate".

HABIT

However, she said that he had made successful steps to bring his drug habit under control and she took the "unusual step" of suspending a four-year jail term.

Garda John Carroll told Pieter LeVert BL, prosecuting, that Mr Malone remembered hitting his head on the ground and having his head pushed down before falling in and out of consciousness.

The court heard that after his arrest Lowe threatened the garda, saying "next time I see you I'll be putting a knife to your throat".

Anne Marie Lawlor BL, defending, said her client was a drug abuser at the time. She said that he has made extraordinary efforts to turn his life around since these offences.

She added that his own mother had terminal cancer and has since passed away.

During the robbery on Moore Street, Lowe pushed the victim, Rajnee Shara, up against a wall and screamed at her: "Give me the phone or I'll kill you".

Garda Damien Byrne told Cormac Quinn BL, prosecuting, that Lowe tried to bite the woman's hand before she released the phone. Lowe also screamed at a passer-by who was trying to help.

hnews@herald.ie


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