26 Sept 2022

Man with 230 previous convictions has suspended sentence added to jail term for attacking teenage boys

Man with 230 previous convictions has suspended sentence added to jail term for attacking two teenage boys

A Dublin man with 230 previous convictions has had a two year suspended sentence added to his jail term for attacking two teenage boys.

Michael Cummins (32) of Applewood Avenue, Swords, pleaded guilty to stealing an iPhone, making a threat to kill, burglary, false imprisonment and assault in Swords on August 9, 2017.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Cummins threatened to pour what he said was acid into one of the boy's eyes and said he was going to blow their house up during the incident, which came about during a “frightening” drug-induced paranoia.

He was sentenced to two years imprisonment by Judge Martin Nolan on February 27, 2018.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) successfully sought a review of Cummins’ sentence on Thursday on grounds that it was “unduly lenient”. The Court of Appeal accordingly added a two-year suspended sentence that will be hanging over him on his release from prison. 

Giving judgment in the three-judge court, Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy said two boys aged 13 and 15 were sitting outside one of their houses when Cummins crossed the street and asked why they were looking at him. 

The boys felt Cummins was “dangerous”. He demanded the boys delete certain pictures from their phone and made racist remarks. His behaviour was “bizarre”, Mr Justice McCarthy said.

He barged into one of the boys’ home and the teenagers asked a passerby to call gardaí before following him inside. 

The older boy later said he saw Cummins go upstairs and return wearing a wig, peaked cap and carrying a bag. He also saw Cummins take a wallet from the kitchen. 

One of the boys jumped 12-feet from the kitchen window in his bare feet to get away from the intruder.

Mr Justice McCarthy said Cummins had 230 previous convictions including 27 for unauthorised taking of vehicles, 11 for burglary and 17 for theft. 

He said the offence was “extremely serious”. The injured parties were children, there was a “racial element” to the offence and one of the boys had to jump from a first floor window to make his escape. 

Mr Justice McCarthy said the sentencing judge fell into error by affording too much weight to the mitigating factors, being Cummins’ guilty plea and his progress towards rehabilitation. 

He said the appropriate headline sentence could not have been less than six years, and this came down to four years in view of the mitigating factors. 

However, due to the fact Cummins’ sentence was being lengthened on foot of a DPP appeal, the court suspended the final two years for two years. His net sentence now stands at four years imprisonment with the final two suspended.

President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice George Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice McCarthy and Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy, told Cummins to stay out of trouble for the suspended sentence or the two year period would be activated. 

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