Northern Ireland

Belfast man who robbed and assaulted female delivery driver with hammer is jailed

The victim was delivering fast food to an address in Castleton Gardens when she was attacked

The sentencing took place at Belfast Crown Court
The sentencing took place at Belfast Crown Court (PA)

A man who robbed a female delivery driver whilst armed with a hammer has been jailed.

Corey Clarke (19) from Castleton Gardens in Belfast was handed a sentence of three years and four months for charges of robbery and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

He was told by Judge Mark McGarrity he will serve half of the sentence in custody, followed by the same period on licence.

Belfast Crown Court heard the female was delivering fast food to an address in Castleton Gardens just after midnight on February 20, 2023 when she noticed Clarke in the middle of the street.

After delivering the food and returning to her car, Clarke approached and grabbed her by the throat.

Brandishing a hammer, he shouted “get back” then pulled her away from her car. He got into the vehicle and stole £40.

The delivery driver pulled Clarke from the vehicle, but he swung the hammer at her, which connected with her hip, and punched her in the face before stealing another £40.

He swung the hammer again, but she was able to disarm him before he fled the scene. He was arrested nearby.

The victim suffered injuries to her hip, wrist and lip.

Defence barrister Sean Mullan said that whilst his client initially denied striking the delivery driver, he now admitted both charges.

He said Clarke was “under the influence at the time” and “didn’t intentionally set out to strike this lady with the hammer”.

“He is very sorry for what has happened.”

Mr Mullan spoke of Clarke’s “youth and immaturity” and “difficulties with drugs in his life”.

Noting that Clarke was addicted to crack cocaine at the time of the offences, Judge McGarrity accepted he has taken steps to address his misuse issues whilst on remand.

Judge McGarrity imposed the 40-month sentence which he said was necessary to “mark the community’s rejection of robbery and violence, and the fear and misery that it can cause”.