Tuesday 6 December 2016

Man convicted over robbery in which victim was pinned to a wall by gang fails in legal challenge

Tim Healy

Published 27/11/2015 | 16:53

The victim's watch, ring, his phone and €750 in cash were taken in the incident late at night on August 5, 2013, on Dublin's North Circular Road.
The victim's watch, ring, his phone and €750 in cash were taken in the incident late at night on August 5, 2013, on Dublin's North Circular Road.

A MAN has failed in a challenge to his conviction over a robbery in which the victim was pulled into a basement flat from a street and pinned to a wall by a group of six or seven people.

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The victim's watch, ring, his phone and €750 in cash were taken in the incident late at night on August 5, 2013, on Dublin's North Circular Road.

Boby Bogdan (21) was among a group of Romanians in the flat identified by the victim when gardai arrived shortly afterwards, the High Court was told.

The victim, a man from Northern Ireland, was grabbed by one man, pulled into the basement flat by two men, as four or five other men and women came running towards them. He was pinned against the wall and his property taken.

When one of the robbers was unable to get the phone to work, the victim said he would show him how it worked and at that point managed to run across the street where he rang the gardai.

The gardai went into the flat and asked all the men to go outside.  The victim was sure Bogdan was one of them and gardai searched him (Bogdan) and found the watch and ring on him.

Mr Bogdan, who lived in the North Circular Road flat, was fined €350 after the District Court heard he had no previous convictions. 

He denied in court he was involved, suggested the victim had mistaken him for someone else, and denied gardai found anything in his pockets.

His lawyers argued the identification of Mr Bogdan was entirely insufficient for the "beyond reasonable doubt" standard of criminal proof.

The District Court judge rejected the argument and convicted him.

His lawyers then asked the High Court to quash the conviction.

They argued there was an unlawful incursion into Mr Bogdan's dwelling, an unlawful search of the accused and dubious identification.

Ms Justice Iseult O'Malley rejected the arguments.

She said the conviction was self-explanatory and the evidence that property was found on Bogdan had not been challenged in the District Court.

Mr Bogdan had given evidence and the District Judge was entitled to disbelieve it and draw such inferences as seemed appropriate "as to the reasons for any lie told", she said.

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