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Pensioner cycled 30 miles in dark after two robberies

A-68 -YEAR-old West Clare man cycled 30 miles. with all of his belongings, in the dead of night from his home to a nursing home in Ennis  after being subjected to two frightening robberies a circuit court has heard.

The details emerged at a sentencing hearing at Ennis Circuit Court of three accused, Noel Garry, aged 20, of Cooraclare; Shane Donnellan, aged 20, of Clohanbeg, Cree and Joseph Lernihan, aged 21, of Finnemore Park, Mullagh, who were  all charged with robbing €3,000 from the injured party at his rural home in West Clare on February 25, 2012.

Joseph Lernihan is further charged with robbery of €4,000 from the same man, four days earlier on February 21, 2012 at the same location.

All three pleaded guilty to the charges against them.

Detective Garda Donal Corkery told the court, “The injured party in this case is 68 and resided alone in a rural isolated location”. He said he was targeted by a number of individuals, some of whom are not before the court, on two separate occasions, when threatened for money.

On the second occasion, when all three accused admitted being involved, an iron rod was put in the man’s  window and he was told it was a gun.  However, it was not clear to gardaí who carried out this particular act.

Detective Corkery said the injured party was frightened by both robberies and after the second he packed up his belongings and cycled 30 miles to Ennis at 1am to a nursing home where he sought residence. He said the injured party still resides in a nursing home and was so “fearful” that he “will never return home again”.

Judge Carroll Moran, presiding, heard pleas of mitigation from the defendants’ counsel and adjourned sentencing to March when probation reports on all three accused are due to be handed into the court.

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