Homeless man hit driver with rock thrown through window

Darren Larkin (32) arrested after alcohol- and drug-fuelled rampage in Stillorgan

The court heard Darren Larkin has 73 previous convictions. File Photograph: Collins Courts.

The court heard Darren Larkin has 73 previous convictions. File Photograph: Collins Courts.

 

A vulnerable homeless man assaulted a motorist by hurling a rock through her passenger window, a court has heard.

Garda Liam Carroll revealed that January Russell thought Darren Larkin (32) was going to cross in front of her car, but he instead ran at her vehicle and threw a large rock through the window.

The glass shattered, the rock struck Ms Russell on the arm and she had to pull in at the side of the road, terrified. She later told gardaí­ she had bruising to her arm and was now more careful about driving.

Larkin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting Ms Russell causing her harm at the N11 Stillorgan, Dublin, on March 8th, 2018.

He also pleaded guilty to assaulting Mark O’Donoghue on Old Dublin Road, Stillorgan, and assaulting Dan O’Donovan at McDonalds, Stillorgan shopping centre, on the same date. He further pleaded guilty to damaging a glass window at the McDonalds outlet.

Garda Carroll agreed with Gráinne O’Neill BL, defending, that her client is a vulnerable man suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and psychosis. He accepted that Larkin had been sleeping in a church car park at the time.

Garda Carroll told John Byrne BL, prosecuting, that staff at McDonalds had been letting Larkin use the washroom facilities for a number of months.

On the night in question, he came in to use the downstairs bathroom and when he returned, he threw a full can of beer at Mr O’Donovan.

He next threw a tray, which missed Mr O’Donovan, and then tried to pick up a till.

Shattered

Staff managed to lock him out of the cafe, but he shattered a glass window pane trying to get back in. He left the scene and put a brick through the window of a parked car along the Old Dublin Road, before punching pedestrian Mark O’Donoghue in the face.

Mr O’Donoghue later told gardaí­ that he managed to dodge more blows from Larkin, who followed him a short distance up the road. This injured party said Larkin was acting in a bizarre and agitated manner.

Garda Carroll said Larkin crossed the road into the grounds of the Talbot Hotel and kicked wing mirrors off two parked cars. He then made his way back onto the N11 and attacked Ms Russell’s vehicle.

The garda said members of the public were keeping Larkin at the scene when he arrived.

Larkin, who smelled strongly of alcohol, made derogatory remarks to him and said: “I’ve done nothing wrong. God is watching.”

Embarrassed

Garda Carroll told Mr Byrne that Larkin later admitted being on a lot of drugs and alcohol that night. He said he was ashamed and wished to apologise to the injured parties, but was too embarrassed to go back to them and express remorse.

Judge Martina Baxter commented that “it wasn’t a well person who was on a rampage that night.”

Ms O’Neill submitted to Judge Baxter that she has been representing Larkin since 2002 and had watched him often take “one step forward and two steps back”.

She outlined his tragic background and revealed that Larkin had been abused throughout his whole childhood.

She told the judge that Larkin first had suicidal ideation when he was 10 years old, that he spent time in youth detention centres and went to Sweden for treatment for his problems.

Referring to a report handed into court, she said Larkin has alcohol problems, suffers from psychosis and has been diagnosed with mental disorders.

Counsel highlighted that the doctor who had compiled the report suggested that some form of sheltered housing was the “only way forward” for Larkin.

Judge Baxter put the matter back to July 2019 and ordered urine analysis, governor’s reports and an updated report from a psychologist.

The court heard Larkin has 73 previous convictions, including 24 thefts. He is currently serving the reactivated portion of a criminal damage sentence and is due for release in 2019.