herald

Sunday 26 May 2019

Man 'off his head on drugs' attacked dying woman's son

Stafford made threats with a large kitchen knife
Stafford made threats with a large kitchen knife

A Dublin man who broke into a terminally-ill woman's house and repeatedly beat her son over the course of four hours will be sentenced in April for false imprisonment.

Graham Stafford (36) broke into the house in the early hours of the morning, believing one of the family owed him €3,000.

Det Gda Paul Oates said Stafford kicked and hit the then 32-year-old male occupant in front of his mother, who was suffering from cancer and has since died.

Convictions

The injured party later told gardai Stafford had appeared "off his head on drugs".

At one point Stafford, who was known to the family, made threats with a large kitchen knife and hit the man over the head with a candle.

Stafford, of St Canice's Square, Finglas, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to false imprisonment at Corduff Gardens, Blanchardstown, on January 24, 2015.

His 11 previous convictions were for minor drugs and public order matters and he has been in custody since 2015.

Det Gda Oates told Carol- ine Cummings, prosecuting, that Stafford seemed to have thought the injured party's sister had disposed of €3,000 worth of drugs.

Throughout the incident he would stop and start the assault.

He eventually left the house, before returning briefly to seek a small amount of money to buy cocaine.

Det Gda Oates said the injured man suffered a cut to his left eye, lumps on his head and mouth wounds. He told investigators he had dizzy spells and headaches after the incident.

He did not go for medical treatment because he had to take his mother to hospital the next day.

A victim impact report was handed in, but not read out.

Det Gda Oates agreed with Kathleen Leader, defending, that her client had been under the influence of drugs at the time.

Ms Leader submitted to Judge Pauline Codd that Stafford wished to apologise to the man he attacked and express sympathy at his mother's death.

Judge Codd remanded Stafford in continuing custody and ordered a report from the Probation Service ahead of sentencing in April.

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