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Victim fled in terror after street syringe threat

A PEDESTRIAN chatting on his mobile phone on a Dublin street got the shock of his life when a young man approached pointing a syringe at him, a court heard.

Barry Duggan (23) said nothing to the pedestrian, just pointed the syringe, which had the needle exposed.

The victim fled in terror, and kept running until he met gardai on O'Connell Street, and told them what had happened.

A garda witness said the victim was shaking when they met him, and was very scared following his ordeal.

Sentencing Duggan to 10 months in prison, Judge Patrick McMahon said he imagined he would have been terrified if he had been the victim, and told Duggan his crime was appalling.

Duggan, who is originally from Moyross in Limerick but was homeless in Dublin at the time of this offence, admitted before Dublin District Court to threatening a man with a syringe.

The incident took place on Lower Liffey Street, Dublin 1, shortly before 9pm on March 28 last year. Garda Adrian Buckley said the victim was answering his mobile phone when the man, wearing a white hoodie and black bottoms, approached him.

Gda Buckley said the victim, who was in his 40s, ran to O'Connell Street where he met gardai. He was later able to identify the defendant to gardai.

Duggan's solicitor said his client was originally from Limerick but moved out of the city in his late teens after he became addicted to cannabis. He and his partner settled in Carlow, where they had two children, but that relationship deteriorated when he developed a heroin problem, and he moved to Dublin.

The court heard Duggan was in the depths of despair at the time of this offence, his drug addiction was at its worst, and he didn't remember a lot about it.

Judge McMahon told the victim, who was in court, that he was sorry to hear about his experience, and hoped he had fully recovered from his ordeal.