Second man jailed for ‘vicious’ attack on Albanian man in Cork

31-year-old man sentenced to six years in jail with 18 months suspended for robbery

A 31-year old man has been jailed for four and a half-years for his part in a violent robbery of an Albanian man who was attacked as he went looking for accommodation in Cork earlier this year.

Thomas O'Sullivan of Comeragh Close, the Glen, Cork pleaded guilty to robbing Viron Kaja at Spring Lane in Cork on May 24th last and was sentenced to six years in jail with 18 months suspended.

O’Sullivan’s older brother, Trevor (36) from Roche’s Buildings in Cork had been convicted of the same offence after a trial and was sentenced on Wednesday to seven years in jail with 18 months suspended by Judge Gerard O’Brien.

Det Sgt Kieran O'Sullivan told Cork Circuit Criminal Court how Mr Kaja was visiting a house in Blackpool to look for a room at 1.30pm on the day in question when he was attacked by two men.


One man hit him around the head with a long stick and the other man began to gouge him in the eyes and when he fell to the ground, bleeding from the head, they went through his pockets.

They stole €50 and a silver tobacco case which had been given to him by his late grandfather. They also broke the screen of his mobile phone in the robbery, said Det Sgt O’Sullivan.

Mr Kaja, who has been living in Ireland for 16 years and is married to an Irish woman and has two children, told the court in a victim impact statement that the robbery was vicious and frightening.

He said he has recurring nightmares about it and he remains unemployed as he had to give up a welding course that he had undertaken in Cork because of the trauma of the robbery.

Niamh Stewart BL, said how O’Sullivan was deeply sorry was for what had happened to Mr Kaja and she spoke of a very sad family background where he has been living on the streets for years.

Judge O’Brien noted that O’Sullivan came before the courts on a guilty plea and he had to be given credit for that when it came to imposing sentence, but that it was a vicious and most violent robbery.

“The victim was viciously attacked. Aggravating factors include the extreme violence, use of a heavy wooden stick, the gouging of the eye of the injured party and leaving him bleeding on the ground,” he said.

“Thomas O’Sullivan has apologised but it is very late in the day and he comes before the court with 119 previous convictions. It is very serious that he finds himself once again before the court.

“It is a pattern of behaviour and he seems unable to break out of a cycle of crime and the victim impact statement presented by Mr Kaja makes for very grim reading indeed.”

He said the attack on Mr Kaja by O’Sullivan and his brother was “entirely disproportionate” to any gain that they made and the fact that it was premeditated was another aggravating factor.

“The capacity of people to go about their daily business must be protected,” said Judge O’Brien adding the community was entitled to live without fear of such attacks occurring on its city streets.

He gave O’Sullivan a one year discount for his guilty plea and fixed the sentence at six years imprisonment but suspended the last 18 months on condition he keep the peace on his release.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times