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Mugging suspect sprayed aerosol in woman's face, court told

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Deodorant was allegedly sprayed in the woman’s face

Deodorant was allegedly sprayed in the woman’s face

Deodorant was allegedly sprayed in the woman’s face

A suspected mugger sprayed deodorant into a woman's face before assaulting her as he tried to snatch her bag, then fled on a Dublin bus, it is alleged.

A court heard homeless drug user Colin Larkin (28) had been unable to make money from begging in the city centre anymore because of the reduced footfall due to the coronavirus crisis and became sick and "desperate".

Judge John Cheatle refused to grant him bail at Dublin District Court and remanded him in custody for a week.

Mr Larkin, with an address at a city centre hostel, is charged with attempting to rob a woman at Nassau Street on Tuesday, March 24. He has not yet indicated how he intends to plead to the charge.

Objecting to bail, Garda Caroline Thornton cited the seriousness of the allegations and the strength of the proposed evidence.

She said it was alleged the accused approached the woman as she was walking on Nassau Street and sprayed deodorant in her face to restrict her vision as he attempted to steal her handbag.

It was alleged he pulled at it and hit her on the arms and legs in an attempt to get it.

The prosecution would also say Mr Larkin pushed the alleged victim to the ground.

Bus

A number of members of the public who saw what happened came to her assistance and the alleged assailant left the scene empty-handed, Gda Thornton added. The woman had marks on her arms and was visibly shaken.

Around five people saw the accused allegedly assault the woman while attempting to steal her bag and two of them followed him to St Stephen's Green while keeping in phone contact with the other passers-by, the court heard.

It was alleged the accused boarded a 46a bus which was stopped by gardai at Leeson Street, Gda Thornton said.

The two people who had followed him identified him, and when searched, he was found in possession of a number of aerosol cans.

Mr Larkin made certain admissions in interview.

Gda Thornton said the accused was an unemployed heroin user who funded his drug habit from begging.

Footfall in the city centre had dramatically decreased, the accused was unable to beg and had told gardai he would be suffering from withdrawal symptoms.

Applying for bail, defence solicitor John Shanley said it was an unusual set of circumstances and Mr Larkin could be in custody for up to two years awaiting trial if he was refused bail.

The garda said her concerns would not be alleviated by bail conditions.

Refusing bail, Judge Cheatle adjourned the case to April 1.