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US tourist attack

US tourist attacked in Dublin robbery after woman befriended him to distract him, court told

The incident happened six hours after the man landed in the country.

A US TOURIST was attacked with punches and stamps to his head in a “savage” premeditated gang robbery in Dublin’s Temple Bar six hours after landing in the country, a court has heard.

The incident at about 12.30 am on July 25, at Crow Street, happened after a woman befriended the man, in his 30s, to distract him, Dublin District Court was told today. 

CCTV footage played at a bail hearing showed the tourist beaten as he lay motionless on the ground, and muggers rummaged through his pockets and dragged him across the street by his feet.

James Nolan, 35, with an address at a hostel on Frenchman’s Lane, Dublin 1, but from Tallaght, was charged with robbery of the New York holidaymaker who has since left the country.

He appeared before Judge Cephas Power today, is the third person to be charged over the incident and was denied bail.

Garda Paul Cummins said the accused “made no reply” to the charge.

Objecting to bail, the garda cited the seriousness of the incident and told the court that the tourist was approached by a woman who conversed with him from two other people “dipping his pocket”.

The tourist realised what was happening and tried to move when four others became involved and “launched a savage attack on the injured party” for two and a half minutes.

The court heard the man suffered punches and stamps to his head as he lay “motionless” on the ground.

At one point, he came around and grabbed the accused, who had allegedly moved his leg to pick up coins that fell out of his pocket.

He was attacked again, and CCTV footage showed him dragged by his feet across the street.

The footage also showed members of the group picking up money from off the ground before fleeing.

The garda agreed with defence solicitor Tracy Horan that the accused was not the “main instigator” but added that he was “very much involved”.

He added that he would recommend a trial in the Circuit Court, which has wider sentencing powers.

The officer said the tourist did not seek medical attention but may have suffered a broken finger. He “kept a very low profile” after the incident, returned to America, and is recuperating.

Ms Horan submitted that her client had been entitled to defend himself when the complainant pulled towards him.

She also submitted that her client had been on the periphery, and the State had a difficult case to prove against him.

The accused gave evidence and said he would abide by strict conditions set down by the court. He admitted being at the scene but said he responded after hearing a woman known to him calling for help.

He said he sat on the man and gave the money he found to the woman.

Judge Power said the accused had the presumption of innocence, but noting the objections to bail, he remanded Mr Nolan in custody to appear at Cloverhill District Court on August 9.

Legal aid was granted after the court heard Mr Nolan received social welfare.

His co-defendants, another man and a woman, who were charged earlier, are still before the courts and remain in custody on remand.