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03/08/2021

Man jailed for 'humiliating' attack in which victim was partially stripped

Man jailed for 'humiliating' attack in which victim was partially stripped

A drug addict who partially stripped his victim at scissors-point and cut his hair in a “humiliating” attack has been jailed for five years.

Myles Connors (24) was jailed on Monday for carrying out the false imprisonment and assault of Edward Babos in April 2020 as well as a robbery in November 2018.

Connors and another man stripped-search Mr Babos in his friend's home because “they thought he had a bag of gear” on him, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard.

Connors then cut Mr Babos's hair with the scissors and forced him into Mr Babos's car to bring him to an ATM to “get any money he had”.

Connors, of Bearna Park, Sandyford in Dublin pleaded guilty to assault causing harm and false imprisonment of Mr Babos at Ballyogan Road, Carrickmines on April 27, 2020.

He also pleaded guilty to one count of robbing a phone and cash at Kilcross estate in Sandyford on November 12, 2018.

In that offence, the court heard Connors and two other men surrounded the victim as he walked along the road with a friend.

Connors, described in court as the “ringleader”, pointed a knife at the young man's stomach before making him reset his iPhone. The trio made off with the phone and €150 in cash.

One other man is still before the courts in relation to that case.

Connors has 17 previous convictions for road traffic offences, trespassing, theft, criminal damage and failure to appear in court.

Sentencing Connors on Monday, Judge Pauline Codd said the attack on Mr Babos involved “particularly humiliating tactics” including partially stripping him and forcibly cutting his hair.

She noted the assault took place over an hour and involved Mr Babos being forced into his own car, which was then driven at dangerous speeds throughout the neighbourhood.

A threat to jam the scissors in his eyes was particularly serious, the judge said.

She noted Connors “didn't use much cleverness” in terms of how he carried out the attack and did not try to hide his identity. The judge said he instead relied on threats and intimidation. “He is a bully,” she said.

In relation to the robbery, Judge Codd noted the victim was a young man who had a knife pointed at his stomach.

She handed down a four year sentence for the false imprisonment and assault of Mr Babos and a three year sentence for the robbery and ordered that they run consecutively. She suspended the final two years on a number of conditions.

She backdated the sentence to when he first went into custody in May 2020.

Additional evidence

Detective Sergeant Seamus Ryan told Elva Duffy BL, prosecuting, that Mr Babos was at a friend's home at around 5pm, when Connors and another man, whom Mr Babos knew from his teenage years, walked in.

Connors then picked up a pair of scissors from the kitchen counter and asked the victim's friend to leave before both men began to punch Mr Babos, the court heard.

“Myles came over and hit me. He picked up a pair of scissors and started threatening me. He gave me a good belt like, a few punches to the face. He started cutting my hair - he got the hair and put it in a plastic bag,” Mr Babos later told gardaí.

The court heard that both men had been taking cocaine.

They went on to ask Mr Babos to go to the ATM with his bank card and “get any money he had”. He said he didn’t have any but they said to take them in his car.

“They thought I had a bag of gear on me – they were telling me to pull down my trousers to see if I had a bag on me, Mr Babos said.

He was partially stripped before being dragging outside the house by Connors, who was still holding the pair of scissors.

“I was getting a lot of kicks in the back as well,” he told gardaí. Detective Ryan confirmed that the victim's friend saw Connors and the other man moving Mr Babos into the car.

“I was in the passenger seat. Myles was driving. He reversed out onto the road and almost crashed into another car,” Mr Babos told gardai.

The driver continued as far as the second roundabout in Carrickmines, where he drove onto a curb, damaging one of the wheels.

Detective Ryan confirmed that the car had to be written off as a result of the damage that was done to it.

Mr Babos managed to jump from the passenger seat to the driver seat while both Connors and his co-accused were outside the car.

They shouted: “If you go to the guards, we will kill you,” as he drove away and they fled the area.

Dean Kelly SC, defending, told Judge Pauline Codd that both of these men were “in the middle of a drug-fuelled binge, which makes it worse and more terrifying”.

He said no effort was made to conceal identities and that the behaviour displayed was “wild, unplanned and without reason”.

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