By Jessie Magee
A man who stole €400 from a homeless man’s sock after they had both been smoking crack in an inner-city park together will be sentenced later for this and another assault.
Patrick Stokes (31), of no fixed abode, was homeless himself at the time of the robbery in St Audoen’s Park, Dublin 8, on October 11, 2021, and pleaded guilty to the offence at Dublin Circuit Court.
At a hearing last week the court heard that the injured party on the day made his way to Merchant’s Quay because he wanted to buy drugs.
He met up with Stokes and another man, neither of whom he had known previously, and the three decided to buy drugs together.
The victim took €40 from his sock and gave it to Stokes and the other man, and when they had brought some crack, they all went to smoke it together in a park near Christchurch.
When the victim tried to leave the park, the co-accused, who was never identified, grabbed him in a headlock and put a BIC razor against his wrist.
Stokes then grabbed hold of the victim’s sock and took an amount in the region of €400 from it before running away.
The injured party identified Stokes later that day in a shop on Westmoreland Street and Stokes was arrested.
The court heard that Stokes had also previously pleaded guilty to assault causing harm on the boardwalk, Bachelor’s Walk, Dublin 1 on September 21, 2021.
A prosecuting garda told Patrick Jackson BL, prosecuting that Stokes got involved in a fight on the boardwalk in the early hours and ended up punching a man to the ground and stamping on him repeatedly.
The victim suffered bruising and soft tissue damage to his face and ankles but did not wish to make a victim impact statement, the court heard.
Stokes was on bail at the time for assault causing serious harm committed in 2019.
Gardaí arrested Stokes some weeks after the boardwalk assault using CCTV from the city centre on which he was easily identifiable.
He has 97 previous convictions dating from 2008 to this year.
Emmet Nolan BL, defending, said Stokes had been living in a tent near the Dáil at the time of the assault and was well known to gardaí.
Mr Nolan said his client has an appalling history of addiction, beginning with minor offending and drug taking at the age of 14 and leading to heroin addiction from the age of 17.
The court heard that Stokes is from a Traveller background and that his family had no tolerance for his addiction, so he quickly became homeless, sleeping in tents, doorways and when he could, hostels.
Mr Nolan said Stokes has been doing well in custody and has reduced his drug taking to 25ml of methadone daily. Stokes is attending workshops in metalwork and computers and now realises, counsel said, that custody is the best place for him while he tries to rehabilitate.
Judge Orla Crowe adjourned the case for sentence to December 8.
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