| 9.4°C Dublin

One of the State's worst gougers poured boiling water on an OAP

PRISON officers are right to be concerned about Leroy Dumbrell, who brought the house down at Mountjoy yesterday.

I know, because I've had first hand experience of this young thug, when I led the team that jailed him for two depraved attacks on innocent people in Dublin's south inner city.

Dumbrell is one of the greatest gougers in the entire State. Along with another thug, Charlie Darcy, and a girl, Amanda Cleary, he committed one of the most grotesque crimes on December 31, 2002.

Armed with cudgels, they broke into the home of an elderly lady and an impaired gentleman and demanded money. When the couple resisted, these low-lives boiled water in the kettle and poured it over the old lady.

They then pleaded guilty -- not requiring the victims to give evidence. What charity must have been in these gougers' hearts to do this -- and then hear a judge suspend some of the sentences to reduce some of their period in prison.

While out on bail, Dumbrell was walking near Maryland, off Cork Street in Dublin 8, when he came upon an other innocent victim. This time the victim was a dog walker who felt apprehensive at somebody approaching. When Leroy passed, he exhaled loudly.


Dumbrell believed in his own warped mind that this exclamation related to him, so what did this young thug do? He returned to where the man was still standing and beat him so badly that he lost the sight of one of his eyes.

Dumbrell was caught by my officers and given an eight-year sentence by the Circuit Criminal Court to run consecutive to the five years he was already doing. He had the last three years of his incarceration suspended.

I can attest that Dumbrell is a threat to society and was one of the most serious problems encountered by the diligent team of officers in the Kevin Street and Kilmainham areas.

Because of his behaviour inside and outside prison he was placed in solitary confinement for some time. He appealed the ruling of the Governor to say he wanted to be rehabilitated with the rest of the prison population. His request was granted. Knowing what I personally know about Leroy I would have given him far greater sentences than he received, to be reviewed after many years.

The law exists to protect society and there has rarely been a better case for protection than that of Leroy Dumbrell. While in prison he should be held in solitary for the protection of all.

PJ Browne is a former detective superintendent with 35 years experience policing serious crime