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Man who robbed two women in 2015 handed himself in seven years later, court told

Laurence Maguire (47) pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two counts of robbery and one count of assault causing harm on February 6, 2015

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Eimear Dodd

A man who carried out two robberies in 2015 handed himself into gardai seven years after a bench warrant was issued for his arrest, a court has heard.

Laurence Maguire (47) pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two counts of robbery and one count of assault causing harm on February 6, 2015.

The court heard today that a bench warrant was issued for Maguire in 2016 and while gardai called to numerous addresses over the next seven years, they were unable to locate him.

Maguire, who has no fixed abode, presented himself to gardai in June and the bench warrant was then executed. He has been in custody since then.

Garda Padraig Brennan told Derek Cooney BL, prosecuting, that two robberies took place separately and a man was assaulted during the second incident.

The first incident took place at Courtview, Rathbourne at around 6.20pm. The victim was walking home after going to the gym when Maguire put his arm around her neck and told her to drop her bags.

The woman was wearing headphones and didn't hear anyone approaching, but noticed a shadow. The court heard she thought someone was messing with her until she turned and saw Maguire with a scarf over his face.

She dropped her handbag and gym bag. Maguire took her River Island handbag which contained around €30 in cash, bank cards and a DKNY watch.

The victim's neck was sore and she was afraid for her safety. Passers-by who came to her assistance noticed a cut on her neck.

She later discovered that her bank cards were used to make two purchases totalling €20 at a McDonalds restaurant at 9.40pm that night.

The court heard a couple were walking home on Glasnevin Avenue, Ballymun at 11.10pm that night when a small vehicle stopped in a driveway in front of them. Maguire got out of the car and attempted to take the woman's bag.

Her husband intervened and sustained cuts to his face and hand during the struggle. The male victim fell to the ground and Maguire managed to grab the bag, then got into the passenger side of the car.

The female victim noticed blood when her husband got up. She told gardai that she didn't see a weapon. Her Marks and Spencer handbag containing Jo Malone perfume and make up was taken.

The male victim required four stitches to his right cheek and seven stitches to his hand. He has since made a full recovery and did not sustain facial scarring.

Gardai later found the vehicle in Finglas and bank cards belonging to the victim of the first robbery were located in a sewer gate nearby.

The car was seized and examined. CCTV was obtained from the McDonald's restaurant which showed Maguire ordering food.

Gardai also searched an address where they found a bottle of Jo Malone perfume with a drop of blood from the male victim of the second robbery on it.

Maguire was arrested in August 2015. He made admissions during interview to both robberies, and told gardai he had a knife. He also said he had a drug addiction.

He has 17 previous convictions including one for assault, three for larceny and 11 for road traffic offences.

A victim impact statement from the victim of the first robbery was handed to the court. She said she has become more nervous particularly when walking after dark. She said the watch that was taken was a birthday present from a family member and that she finds it more difficult to trust people.

No victim impact statements were submitted on behalf of the victims of the second robbery and the assault.

Gda Brennan agreed with Luigi Rea BL, defending, that his client expressed remorse when interviewed and said he had no intention to cause injuries.

It was accepted that Maguire had addiction issues at the time and that his plea was of value to the prosecution.

Mr Rea noted that a bench warrant issued for his client in 2016 and it was not activated as Maguire “kept himself out of trouble” in recent years.

He noted Maguire has three children and is taking steps to deal with his addiction issues.

Defence counsel said his client has turned his life around and has lived “crime-free” for many years. He asked the court to take into account that his client has already been in custody since June.

Judge Dara Hayes said it is to Maguire's credit that he handed himself into gardai, but that he should have done it sooner.

He noted that these are serious offences and a knife was used.

The judge said he would adjourn the case for a probation report in light of Maguire's efforts towards rehabilitation and the long period without offending.

Remanding Maguire in custody, he adjourned the case to April 22 next for finalisation.

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