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Hero attacked as he came to defence of bag-snatcher victim

A GOOD Samaritan who came to the rescue of a woman whose bag was snatched was himself attacked and dragged to the ground after he refused to let go of the bag.

Daniel Brannigan (27) was lying in wait and attacked the man who tackled Brannigan's friend for robbing the woman's handbag.

A judge said his conduct was "appalling", and he sentenced him to six months in prison.

Brannigan, of Neilstown Avenue in Clondalkin, admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to robbery.

The incident took place at the Ballyowen Castle Shopping Centre on May 18 last year.

Garda Sergeant Damien Galligan said the victim, a young woman, was told to hand over her handbag by another man.

He pulled the bag, worth €250, off her shoulder and dragged her through bushes.

Sgt Galligan said another shopper saw what was happening. He tackled this individual and grabbed the bag, which contained the woman's mobile phone, wallet, cards and cash.

Brannigan then attacked the witness, and struggled with him -- both falling to the ground -- trying to take the bag.

Sgt Galligan said Brannigan and the other man later fled the scene. Brannigan was later found in his car.

The court heard that the bag and all its contents were recovered.

Sgt Galligan said the eyewitness was left with scrapes and bruises following the incident.

Defence solicitor Alison Brennan said Brannigan has battled a chronic heroin addiction for half his life, but is now off all drugs and providing clean urine tests.

Ms Brennan said Brannigan has a very sad and tragic background, and his family split up when he was a child due to illness and the break-up of his parents' relationship.

She said he has moved out of Dublin, and is now living with his sister in Portarlington.

Judge Patrick McMahon said he sympathised with the defendant's troubles but that the court's duty was to victims.

Judge McMahon said the offence was "outrageous" and sentenced Brannigan to six months in prison.