Man who attacked shopkeeper with claw hammer jailed for 11 years

John McKeon hit defenceless shopkeeper three times in the head with a hammer

A robber who attacked a defenceless shopkeeper with a claw hammer leaving him with “life changing” injuries has been jailed for 11 years.

John McKeon (31) and his cousin Daryl McKeon (23) entered Tansey's newsagents armed with a hammer and screwdriver. John McKeon hit Kevin Tansey three times to the back of the head with the hammer as he tried to escape. He threatened passers-by who tried to help the injured man.

In CCTV footage of the incident, Daryl McKeon can be seen stepping over the unconscious body of Mr Tansey in order to try and open the cash register. The robbers ultimately fled empty handed.

Mr Tansey suffered a severe traumatic brain injury which doctors said was potentially fatal. His wife, who is legally blind and had relied on her husband for driving and help with other tasks, described to the court the dramatic changes in her husband and their lives since the attack.


"The man who left for work that morning has yet to return and I am not sure he ever will,"said Mrs Michelle Tansey.

John McKeon was convicted by a Dublin Circuit Criminal Court jury following a trial last October of robbery at Eurospar, Swords and attempted robbery and assault causing serious harm at Tansey's Newsagent, Fitzmaurice Road, Finglas, Dublin on March 18th, 2017.

John McKeon with an address at Gleann Riada, Strokestown Road, Longford has 71 previous convictions for offences including burglary, dangerous driving, robbery from taxi drivers, criminal damage. He was also convicted of common assault of a former partner who he punched two days after she had given birth.

Vincent Heneghan SC, defending John McKeon, said his client acknowledged his guilt and was disgusted and ashamed of what he did.

He said his client had been abandoned and isolated and embarked on crime at a young age.

Counsel said his client went into care at nine years old and by 15 he was living in homeless hostels. He began abusing alcohol at 12 years old and later tablets and cocaine.

Passing sentence on Friday, Judge Patricia Ryan said Mr Tansey sustained very serious injuries which had a "catastrophic" effect on him, his wife and his immediate family.

She sentenced John McKeon to 12 and a half years imprisonment, but suspended the final 18 months on strict conditions. In 2018, Daryl McKeon, of North Cumberland Street, Dublin was jailed for seven years.