By Fiona Ferguson
A recovering drug addict has been jailed for a violent mugging attack at a Luas stop.
Patrick Hand (38) told gardaí he may have been hallucinating after taking cocaine and alcohol when he attacked a man on the platform and tried to take the man’s bag.
He claimed that he must have believed the bag containing the man’s belongings was his. Hand had just been released from prison the previous day.
Defence counsel said Hand suffered with drug addiction. He said that he falls into homelessness when he comes out of prison after serving sentences.
Hand, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to attempted robbery at Abbey Street Luas stop on July 15, 2017.
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The court heard that Hand approached the victim and asked him for the price of a bottle of vodka. The victim refused and Hand followed him to the Luas stop and continued to ask for money.
At the Luas stop Hand tried to take the man’s bag and hit him in the chest and face. Luas security guards restrained Hand, who was very intoxicated, and gardaí arrived and arrested him.
Garda Claire Caffrey said that during garda interview Hand had identified himself on CCTV footage of the incident and accepted he had done wrong.
She agreed Hand said he had taken alcohol and cocaine that night and felt he might have been hallucinating. Hand agreed with gardaí that he thought the bag was his.
He said he did not have a good recollection of the incident and might have had a “black out.”
Judge Melanie Greally accepted that Hand had since done a lot of work to deal with his addiction issues. She suspended the final two and a half years of a four and a half year sentence on condition he keep the peace.
She also imposed a condition that he reside at an address in Co Meath and engage with the addiction services in the county. She backdated the sentence to December 19, 2018 when he went into custody.
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