Wednesday 26 April 2017

Mother-of-five whose accomplice pierced skin of taxi driver with syringe jailed

The treatment was given to patients who had failed to respond to other medications
The treatment was given to patients who had failed to respond to other medications

Fiona Ferguson

A mother-of-five whose accomplice in a robbery pierced the skin of a taxi driver with a syringe has been sentenced to three years in jail, with the final six months suspended.

Amanda Daly (36) was caught after she dropped her purse containing a social welfare receipt near the scene of the robbery.

Daly, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery of €700 from the taxi driver at Summer Street South on April 15, 2015.

Daly, who grew up in Tullamore, Co Offaly, has 42 previous convictions, mainly for public order offences.

Her co-accused Jason Hynes (43) of Neilstown Park, Clondalkin, Dublin, received a four-and-a-half year sentence earlier this year for his role.

Sentencing Daly today, Judge Melanie Greally noted she had an unfortunate background “characterised by severe drug addiction”. Daly had a “tragic life” as a consequence of this addiction, she said.

The judge previously agreed to allow Daly out on bail to attend drug treatment, but Daly was unable to complete the residential programme and was returned to custody.

The judge noted Daly played an “active and fulsome role” in the offence, which included attempting to tie the taxi driver's hands to his steering wheel. He was left “very frightened” by the incident, she said.

Detective Sergeant Mark Kelly previously told Gareth McCormack BL, prosecuting, that the taxi driver had brought the pair to Summer Street South where he was instructed to stop by Hynes.

The taxi driver said Hynes, who was in the back seat, put his arm around his neck and then put the syringe into his neck. He told the taxi driver: “I have HIV, give me money.”

Hynes instructed Daly to take the taxi driver's wallet and she then searched the front of the car for a second wallet containing his float. The taxi driver had asked her not to take his wallet or phone as he needed them for work. She also took his car keys.

Daly attempted to tie the taxi drivers hands to the steering wheel with a phone charger but was unsuccessful. The pair left but the taxi driver caught up with then and got his keys back, at which stage Daly dropped her purse on the ground.

A neighbour attempted to come to the taxi driver’s aid but Hynes waved the syringe at them and the pair made their escape.

Gardai found Daly's purse and were able to track her through a social welfare receipt with her name on it. She was arrested and made admissions but alluded to the fact she was under duress.

Det Sgt Kelly agreed with Dean Kelly BL, defending, that Daly was a person who had a background of serious and chaotic drug use. He said she was a willing participant but agreed that she would not have embarked on a syringe robbery alone.

Daly has no previous convictions for robbery or burglary.

Counsel said Daly grew up in Tullamore but her parents died when she was a teenager, leaving her with little family support. She had her first child quite young and moved to Dublin for a fresh start but this went sour catastrophically.

He said she was sleeping on the streets or in homeless hostels.

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