Wednesday 28 September 2016

Thieves caught when stolen taxi ran out of petrol

Declan Brennan

Published 17/07/2015 | 10:24

A young father and his accomplices who robbed a 62-year-old taxi driver were caught after the taxi they drove off in ran out of petrol.

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Dylan Keegan Duignan (21) was one of two men who held up the Dublin driver after he had taken them from the capital's O'Connell Street to St Margaret's Park halting site in Ballymun.

Duignan, from The Green Meadow Vale, Arklow in Co Wicklow pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the robbery of Leslie Leady on October 14, 2014.

The men were caught later that day when gardai spotted the car parked in an unusual way and waited by it.

The car's tank had run empty and the robbers had gone to the nearest petrol station.

They were arrested when they returned with the can of petrol.

Judge Martin Nolan sentenced Duignan to two years imprisonment. He is already serving an eleven-month jail term for a robbery committed on July 10, 2012.

Garda Colum McElligott told Vincent Heneghan BL, prosecuting, that Mr Leady had been driving a taxi for two decades and had begun his shift that morning.

At 2.30pm he picked up Duignan and another man. Duignan sat in the front passenger seat and the other man sat directly behind Mr Leady.

When they got to the destination the fare was €15. Duignan said he had to get out to get the money. The other man then reached around the back of the driver's seat and put his arm around the driver's neck.

He put a sharp object to the man's neck and told him: "Give me your money or I'll slice your throat."

Mr Leady believed him because he was very aggressive.

Duignan walked around to the driver's seat and took the car keys. The other man told Mr Leady to get out of the car, took his mobile phone, and ordered him to walk into a field.

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A man from the halting site saw the victim and came to help him and they rang the gardai.

Patrick McCullough BL, defending, said that Duignan comes from a good family.

He said his client was intoxicated on alcohol and tablets at the time, and has a difficulty with substance abuse which he is now tackling.

He said after his arrest Duignan told gardai he had no memory of the robbery, but said it was a disgusting thing to do. He said he felt very sorry for the victim.

Another man is before the courts for the same offences.

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