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Man sentenced to two years for robbery and 'merciless' attack on fellow homeless person

Christopher Morgan was himself engaging with homeless services at the time of the attack in September 2016.

SCC Rolling 5 Source: Sasko Lazarov/Rollingnews.ie

A MAN HAS been sentenced to two years in prison for attacking and robbing a homeless man “who was doing nothing but sleeping”, a court has heard.

Christopher Morgan (33) was himself engaging with homeless services when he robbed Declan Foran (45) on 23 September 2016, in what a judge described as a “savage” and “merciless” attack.

Morgan, with an address at Ballymun, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbing a phone and using force on Foran, who had been sleeping beside his brother at Sackville Place, Dublin.

A second man and a woman are also facing charges in relation to the offence.

“This unfortunate homeless man was attacked and robbed by three people,” said Judge Martin Nolan.

“It was a savage attack; he was kicked and beaten in the head and his phone was stolen, the only thing of value that kept him in contact with normal life. It was a fairly merciless attack on a man who was doing nothing but sleeping,” said Judge Nolan.

Garda Louise Moran told Cathleen Noctor BL, prosecuting, that Foran had been asleep beside his brother on the morning in question when he was woken up by a woman at about 6am.

The woman told Foran that she’d been in custody all night and asked could she sleep in between him and his brother.

Foran said nothing as he was half-asleep and the woman started getting abusive, left, and returned with two men.

One of the men dragged Foran onto the street and started hitting him in the face while the woman started kicking him in between the legs. Foran said he was scared, in hysterics and “seeing stars” after he was hit in the face.

Foran said a man stole his HTC phone which he had saved up for and had only bought the previous day, adding that the phone was “the only lifeline” that he and his brother had on the street.

He told gardaí that he and his brother stayed out of trouble and were “just sleeping and not bothering anyone”.

Foran noticed that his brother had escaped and thought he had panicked and gone for help.

The injured man was taken by ambulance to hospital with a laceration above his right eye, but he left without getting any treatment.

Phone in pocket

Gardaí were informed and Foran managed to identify the two attackers. When Morgan was arrested, a HTC phone was found in his pocket.

Foran has not filed a victim impact statement and the court heard that efforts to locate him have been fruitless to date.

Morgan has 101 previous convictions, including threats to kill, assault causing harm, violent disorder, theft and firearms offences, and 49 public order convictions.

Sandra Frayne BL, defending, said Morgan was homeless when he was interviewed by gardaí and was initially unfit for interview as he was drunk.

She said her client had since “turned a corner” and has not come to Garda attention since September 2016.

The court heard Morgan completed a 12-week rehabilitation course which had “turned his life around” and was also doing parenting and daily education courses.

A spokesperson for the Spellman Centre said Morgan was “coming on in leaps and bounds”, worked very well with his peers and was taking all directions and attending class daily, with the goal of going to college.

Morgan wrote a letter of apology and brought €300 to court as a gesture of remorse to the victim.

Judge Nolan acknowledged Morgan’s “great attempts” to change his life and said he should try to reform himself when he leaves prison.

He granted Morgan legal aid and said while the courts must try to reform, they are also there to punish.

Read: Charges dropped against one man accused of raping woman after Jason Derulo concert

Read: ‘My heart is so full’: Victims of US Gymnastics doctor react to 175-year sentence

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Jessica Magee

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