Longford District Court: Man grabbed woman's purse in Longford town

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Longford Courthouse

A County Roscommon man who assaulted a woman by grabbing her purse as she walked in Longford town causing her to fall to the floor has been warned by a judge to steer clear of drugs.

Gavin Doyle (29), of 8 Harbour Road, Tarmonbarry, Roscommon appeared at a recent district court sitting where a probation report was handed in.
Presiding Judge Fiona Lydon noted the document’s “very positive” contents before details concerning the charges Mr Doyle stands accused of where read out.


Inspector Padraig Jones said Mr Doyle had been identified as the perpetrator behind the theft of a purse from a woman in Longford town on April 1, 2016.


Inspector Jones said the victim had been walking towards the Harbour Point apartment complex.


It was at that stage, the court was told Mr Doyle made a grab for the woman’s handbag, breaking its strap.


In the midst of that altercation, the victim fell to the ground with Mr Doyle taking her Michael Kors purse valued at €150.


The contents contained €300 in cash, the Inspector added, neither of which were recovered.
Inspector Jones said Mr Doyle did show “genuine remorse” when he was later identified and arrested over the incident.


Frank Gearty, defending, said his client had attempted to atone for his actions by handing in €450 in compensation at a court sitting on May 16 last year.


In a separate episode, the court was also told gardaí had carried out a search of Mr Doyle’s home on March 28 last year after obtaining a warrant under Section 26 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977.


During the course of that operation, a quantity of cannabis resin, cocaine and D10 tablets were found along with six counterfeit €50 notes.


Asked by Judge Lydon what street value had been placed on the drugs seized, Inspector Jones said the total amounted to around €800.


After learning that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had consented to summary disposal, allowing for the case to be heard at district court level, Judge Lydon accepted jurisdiction.


Before giving her views on the case, Judge Lydon was told Mr Doyle had three previous convictions, one of which was for a Section 3 drugs offence in 2014.


In what turned out to be a lengthy mitigation address, Mr Gearty said his client was acutely aware of the gravity of the situation he now found himself in.


He said Mr Doyle had gone through especially trying personal circumstances with depression and addiction problems - factors that brought about his recent brushes with the law.


Pausing to reveal that Mr Doyle was now residing in the Clondalkin area and attending addiction counselling services, Mr Gearty said there was no denying the “serious and heinous” undertones which were attached to the alleged assault on his female victim.


As she continued to sift through Mr Doyle’s probation report, Judge Lydon said she was surprised to learn not every urine analysis given by the 29-year-old had come back clear.


“I have had my ups and downs,” interjected Mr Doyle, as he stood hands clasped beside his solicitor.


“I have had my slips. Addiction is a very hard thing to live with. Not all my urines have shown positive for drugs.”


Judge Lydon said she was wary about passing a final ruling on the case at this juncture, saying she wanted to see both a victim impact statement and up to date probation report.


A further proviso seeking similarly recent urine examinations was also requested.
“I am getting great help from counsellors and I am learning to cope,” said Mr Doyle.


In adjourning the case, Judge Lydon again stressed the positive elements which had been furnished in the probation report before her and encouraged Mr Doyle to continue making progress with his recovery.


Mr Doyle was remanded on continuing bail until a sitting of Longford District Court on April 24 2018.