Man who mugged ‘wholly innocent’ passerby, leaving him with skull fracture, jailed for five years

Joseph Doyle (42) has 109 previous convictions, including for assault and criminal damage

The victim was returning to a hotel following a night out when he was attacked.

A man who mugged “a wholly innocent man” leaving the victim with skull and facial fractures has been jailed for five years.

Joseph Doyle (42) of Queen Street, Dublin 7, came forward to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on signed pleas of guilty from the District Court.

He was charged with robbery and assault causing harm on December 15th, 2023. His 109 previous convictions include assault, threats to kill, criminal damage, crimes against animals and drug offences and 11 of these offences were dealt with in the Circuit Court.

Garda Sean Farrelly told John Quirke, prosecuting, that the 39-year-old victim had been returning to his hotel following a night out when Doyle approached him at Haymarket in Smithfield, in Dublin city.


CCTV footage of the attack was shown to the court during which Doyle can be clearly seen punching the victim to the face knocking him to the ground.

Doyle then goes through the man’s pockets taking his mobile phone and wallet before he walks away, leaving the victim unconscious on the ground.

Garda Farrelly said he was alerted to the incident and the victim was already in an ambulance being attended to by paramedics when he arrived.

The garda viewed CCTV footage of the mugging before he circulated a description of the attacker and a woman the man had been with at the time.

Garda colleagues stopped a couple, matching their description, a short time later and apprehended them.

Doyle was deemed unfit for interview for six hours but later made full admissions to gardaí, acknowledging that while it was him in the CCTV footage, he had no memory of the attack.

Garda Farrelly confirmed that the victim was left with a skull fracture to the rear of his head and two further fractures to his face.

A victim impact statement was read into the record by Mr Quirke, during which the man said he suffered economic loss of just over €12,000, the majority of which was for loss of income.

He said his injuries included fractures to his skull and face and bleeding to his brain.

He has since experienced confusion, lack of concentration, constant headaches, depression and loss of smell and taste. In the immediate aftermath of the robbery, he experienced loss of hearing and blurred vision. He still suffers from fatigue.

He said he is anxious being out in public and finds himself constantly looking over his shoulder.

Judge Pauline Codd said the victim was “a wholly innocent man” who had been struck forcibly to the face and suffered significant injuries as a result.

She said it was an aggravating feature of the case that Doyle had left the man “lying helpless on the ground” after he robbed him.

“He is lucky he is not facing more serious charges considering how forcefully he hit him and how forcefully the victim fell to the ground,” Judge Codd commented.

She indicated that a headline sentence of eight and half years was appropriate before she imposed a sentence of six years, taking into account Doyle’s ultimate co-operation with the gardaí, remorse expressed in a letter to the victim and his early guilty pleas.

Judge Codd suspended the final year of that term on strict conditions including that Doyle keep the peace and be of good behaviour for 12 months.