Six year sentence despite intervention by Limerick Parish Priest


Fr Tony O'Riordan, Parish Priest of Corpus Christi Church, Moyross. Picture: Don Moloney / Press 22
Fr Tony O’Riordan, Parish Priest of Corpus Christi Church, Moyross.

A YOUNG Limerick offender who was told he could live at the home of a parish priest to help him stop offending has been jailed for six years for his role in the robbery of €80 in coin.

Christopher Higgins, (20) pleaded guilty to the robbery of a man during the early hours of St Patrick’s day last year.

During the hearing of evidence at Limerick Circuit Court, Detective Garda John Keane said that at around 12.50am on March 17, 2015, the victim had parked his car on Pery Square when Christopher Higgins and another man got in to the car.

The other man who was in the back seat, held a knife to the man’s throat while shouting “where’s the bleeding money”.

20-year-old Higgins was in the front seat shouting, “where is it”.

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The money was stolen from the driver along with a wifi dongle.

As they left the victim, Christopher Higgins told the victim to keep his mouth shut.

Prosecution counsel John O’Sullivan BL said CCTV footage had tracked the defendant from his home at Parnell Place to the scene of the crime on Pery Square.

After the evidence was given, Moyross Parish Priest, Fr Tony O’Riordan told Judge Tom O’Donnell that he hopes his efforts to help the 20-year-old offender would get him back on the “straight and narrow”.

Fr O’Riordan gave an undertaking that he would do his best to help the young man and that he would house him if necessary and encourage a work ethic and help him pursue job prospects.

However this Tuesday, Judge O’Donnell imposed a six year sentence on Christopher Higgins, suspended the final two years for a period of six years.

Backdating the sentence to the date when Higgins was remanded in custody, Judge O’Donnell said that this was clearly a “premeditated attack, and one that was very frightening for the victim.

Referencing a victim impact statement, he said that the attack “shattered the victim’s confidence in people – something that he hasn’t been able to get over up until very recently when Higgins’ co-accused pleaded guilty to the offence”.

“The victim still has nightmares of what was clearly a very frightening incident,” Judge O’Donnell remarked.