A judge at Derry Crown Court this week said that in all probability he would conclude that a 33-years-old man who had admitted kicking, stamping and punching his lifelong friend in the head was dangerous.
Judge Philip Babington said he would also consider imposing a Violent Offences Prevention Order when he sentenced the defendant, Joseph Padre Krokkee, next month.
Krokkee, from Victoria Gate in the Waterside area of the city, has 56 previous convictions, 11 for violent offences. In December 2011, he was given a seven year extended sentence for an attempted robbery and his defence barrister, Kieran Mallon QC, told Judge Babington that Krokkee had spent most of the last ten years in prison. A barrister for the Public Prosecution Service told a plea hearing this week that on 27 May last year two women, who knew Krokkee, saw him fighting with another man in Guildhall Square before he pushed the man to the ground and punched and kicked him about the head. The two witnesses also said Krokkee stamped on the victim's head once. One of the women became involved and tried to protect the victim who was on the ground, but Krokkee continued to attempt to pull at the victim through the woman's legs. Police were alerted to the incident by CCTV operators. Officers approached Krokkee and because of his hostility they had to handcuff him. He was put inside a police car where he caused criminal damage to the console and handbrake lever and when he arrived at Strand Road Police Station he had to be carried into a cell by six police officers.
The victim, who sustained superficial injuries, refused to make a statement of complaint to the police. When Krokkee's clothes were examined the victim's blood was found on the defendant's hooded top and on the right leg of his jeans. Mr. Mallon said the victim, who was a life long friend of Krokkee, was a "forgiving victim who had written a letter of support for the defendant." He said because of his offending Krokkee had spent most of the last ten years in jail and was subject to recall licence until July 2021. The defence barrister said a pre-sentence report "makes for uncomfortable reading" as it outlined in detail aspects of Krokee's difficult childhood which included "the unwarranted attention of an older male."
Mr. Mallon said Krokkee had been diagnosed with dysthemia disorder and would require medical intervention for many years to come. "While the prison setting and environment setting offer a measure of help to people such as Mr. Krokkee with the problems he has, the best treatment is the treatment he will receive while in the community," Mr. Mallon said, adding he accepted the finding of a risk management team that Krokkee was at a high risk of re-offending. "Any other assessment would have been astonishing but hopefully, with the source of his problems being openly addressed for the first time, that risk of him causing further harm in future will be reduced. What he needs is to be supported, he does not need to be crushed", he said.
Judge Babington said he would sentence Krokkee on 10 January and he remanded him in continuing custody until then.
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