Dublin teens who ‘terrorised’ woman over child’s drug debt walk free from court

Jamie Agemoh told the woman she had until later that night to get the €1,200 her son owed him or he'd return with others.

Jamie Agemoh (20) of St Berach's Place, Kilbarrack, Dublin. Photo: Collins Courts

David O'Sullivan

Two teenagers who “terrorised” and intimidated a woman whose child had racked up a drug debt have been given suspended sentences.

Jamie Agemoh (20) was just 17 years old when he repeatedly engaged in intimidating the 51-year-old woman and demanding money from her because her teenage son owed him a drug debt, Judge Orla Crowe noted at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on Friday.

Agemoh, of St Berach's Place, Kilbarrack, Dublin, pleaded guilty to one count of demanding money with menace, with a number of other counts taken into consideration.

The court heard he repeatedly demanded money from the woman between May and June in 2020, causing her to hand over a total of €2,500.

His co-accused, Wayne Dennis (21) of Mount Olive Grove, Kilbarrack, Dublin, also pleaded guilty to one count of demanding money with menace. The court heard his role was limited to accompanying another man to the woman's house in Malahide on one occasion.

Sentencing Agemoh, Judge Crowe said he had “terrorised” the woman - “a perfectly law-abiding person who had this mob descend on her”. His behaviour was intimidating and frightening and she felt unsafe in her own home, the judge noted.

Agemoh has three previous convictions, including a firearm conviction from when he was 15 years old. Judge Crowe said Agemoh appears to have changed his ways in the three years since these offences. She noted he is now working, has detoxed from drugs and has not come to any adverse garda attention since.

He had €1,200 in court as a token of remorse for the victim. Judge Crowe sentenced him to two years and three months' imprisonment, but suspended the sentence on a number of conditions, including that he remain under the supervision of the Probation Service for one year.

She suspended the sentence for four years, noting that she was deliberately setting a lengthy period to ensure it will “hang over him”.

Sentencing Dennis, Judge Crowe noted his role was limited to accompanying another man to the woman's home on one occasion but that he acted as a “body man” to help intimidate her.

Dennis has no previous convictions and is currently working. She handed down a sentence of 12 months, which she suspended fully.

The court previously heard that on the first occasion in May 2020, the woman was at home when she saw Agemoh outside with her eldest son. When she opened the door, Agemoh said her younger son owed him money for a bag of cannabis.

This child – a teenager - who allegedly owed Agemoh the money, came downstairs and asked what was going on. Agemoh said: “don't be a smart bastard in front of your ma”, and that he owed him money.

Agemoh told the woman she had until later that night to get the €1,200 her son owed him or he'd return with others.

The court heard her son had previously had a drug debt of €600, which his mother had paid off for him in March of that year.

Agemoh rang the woman later that day and she could hear shouts of: “we are coming to get you, we are coming to get you” coming from others in the background. He told her she had until the next day to get the money.

The following day, Agemoh met the woman at Kilbarrack train station. She handed over €1,000 and told him he would have to wait for the rest of it.

He texted her later to say she had only handed over €900 and that she would have to meet him with the rest soon.

On May 8, she handed over a further €300 to Agemoh. However, later that day he texted her to say a friend of his had told him her son had yet another outstanding drug debt.

In July, the woman was at home with her sister when three other men called to the front door. Her sister opened the door, and the men shouted that the woman's son owed them €2,000. They threatened to smash up her house and burn out her car.

The three men went back to the car they arrived in, when one produced a metal crow bar and said to the woman's sister: “I'll fucking kill you.” A neighbour intervened and the men left.

Months later in September, two men called to the woman's house wearing black face masks. One of these men was Dennis.

She didn't answer the door and the second man shouted: “I won't be so nice next time, I'll burn the gaff down.”

At the time, the woman had a camera installed in her doorbell. This recorded footage of the men and helped the gardai identify Dennis.

The woman paid over €2,500 over the course of the various demands.

In a victim impact statement handed to the court, she described how she became fearful, was shaken to her core and traumatized.

She said she didn't feel safe in her own home and that someone unexpected knocking on the door would bring those feelings back.

Keith Spencer BL, defending Agemoh, said his client's offences were committed at a very young age but that he should not have acted as he did.

He said Agemoh has “matured significantly” over the last few years, has been employed for the last three years and has detoxed from drug use.

Mr Spencer said the Probation Service indicated Agemoh was at low risk of re-offending and he was willing to offer a token of remorse of €1,200 to the woman.

Patrick Jackson BL, for Dennis, said his client had no involvement in the drug trade except for this incident.

He said that Dennis's family were “shocked” when he was arrested and that it was their view that he was “someone who could be easily lead.”

At an earlier sentence hearing, he asked the court “to consider this as a once off”.

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