Sunday 4 December 2016

Former Blackrock player is jailed for robbery

Declan Brennan

Published 12/07/2016 | 02:30

Sashi Buti. Pic: Courts Collins.
Sashi Buti. Pic: Courts Collins.

A former Blackrock College rugby player who beat up and robbed a taxi driver to avoid paying a fare has been jailed for nine months.

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Judge Catherine Murphy said she was jailing Buti Sashi (20) with "great reluctance" after he failed to engage fully with probation and restorative justice services and failed a drugs test.

Sashi, of Tyrconnell Grove, Inchicore, Dublin, pleaded guilty to the robbery of Joseph Saji at St Michael's Estate, Inchicore, on the night of August 23, 2014.

Sashi was caught because he left his passport behind in the taxi. He went to gardaí shortly after the assault and reported his passport as lost.

Garda Mark Costello previously told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that Sashi flagged down the taxi on the Naas Road and he got into the front passenger seat. Another man with Sashi got into the back seat.

They told the driver to take them to St Michael's estate, which Garda Costello described as a derelict site with no CCTV.

Once there, the other man put his arm around the driver's neck and Sashi started hitting him. The men robbed his iPhone, SatNav and €220.

Shortly after getting out of the car, Sashi realised he had left his passport, mobile phone and a necklace in the footwell.

He went back to the car but the driver had locked the doors.

After his arrest later for the robbery, Sashi told gardaí that he didn't know how his property had ended up in the taxi.

Fiona Pecker BL, defending, previously told the court that her client was drunk on the night. She said he became involved with Leinster rugby at the age of 14 and played with the under-15 team. He went on to play for Blackrock, Liberty Saints and Guinness RFC.

Sashi was born in Nigeria but came to Ireland at the age of eight. His mother, who supported her son in court, was extremely shocked and appalled at his actions.

Sentencing him, Judge Murphy said Sashi had been given "every opportunity" by the court to improve his situation.

Irish Independent

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