Jailed for stabbing student during phone robbery
A Letterkenny man who stabbed a school pupil in the shoulder while robbing his mobile phone was jailed for 18 months at Letterkenny Circuit Court.
Francis McConnell of 19 McNeely Villas, Letterkenny, pleaded guilty to a single charge of robbery at Oldtown, Letterkenny, on March 13, 2009.
Barrister for the State, Patrica McLaughlin BL, said evidence was heard at a previous court sitting last October and the case was adjourned to monitor the defendants behaviour.
Garda Sergeant Michael Foy said McConnell had come to the attention of the gardai again in January and a number of charges are pending against him for alleged assault, criminal damage, theft and public order matters.
He said the accused had 28 previous convictions for offences including theft, criminal damage, assault, drug and public order offences dating back to 2008.
Defence barrister Niall O'Neill BL, had his client admit he had a drink problem and had been on a detox programme until he "fell off the wagon at Christmas".
McConnell told the court he "just got wile depressed and hit the bottle" at the time.
Judge John O'Hagan said the charge was "very serious".
He said the victim was still a school student when he got stabbed in the shoulder by McConnell after he was unable to give him a cigarette when he demanded one.
He reminded him robbery was such a serious offence it attracted a maximum sentence of life.
McConnell has a "catalogue of crime" he stated adding the aggravating factor was the production of a weapon during the robbery.
He gave him credit for his plea and co-operation with the gardai but said his behaviour "has to end some where".
He jailed him for two years suspending the last six months.