independent

Friday 19 December 2014

Car graffiti was dirty deed done dirt cheap

Published 29/11/2012 | 08:58

A "low budget hitman" has been sent to prison for his part in the criminal damage of a woman's car - despite his victim telling the court he "is a decent fellow."

Judge James McNulty described the case of Mark Dyson (52) of West End, Inchigeela as an "incidious" offense involving "dirty money" and a "dirty deed."

Mr Dyson appeared in Macroom District Court last week where he pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal damage arising from an incident where obscene messages were daubed on a car in the village on November 26, 2010.

The court heard that the victim in the case was a woman going through an acrimonious breakup. Before splitting up with her husband he had bought her a car in an attempt to reconcile their differences. When this failed, Judge McNulty was told, her husband allegedly made contact with Mr Dyson and repeatedly offered him money to damage the car.

Defence solicitor Patrick Gould said that while his client was pleading guilty to damaging the car, he did not act alone and there were mitigating circumstances.

Mr Gould said that his client, who has issues with alcohol, resisted the offers, until one night he was drinking with an associate who allegedly answered a call from the victim's husband.

It was further alleged that the associate subsequently offered to carry out the act in exchange for half the proceeds. The victim's husband is alleged to have paid the pair €1,000 between them.

Mr Dyson agreed to this, supplied his associate with paint and identified the car to him.

The victim's new car was subsequently painted with obscene messages in white paint, with the damages amounting to €1,006.

Mr Gould said that his client has since shown remorse, fully co-operating with gardai in their investigation and assisting the victim with her civil case to recover damages for the car and in proceedings against her husband.

He produced a letter from the victim, through her solicitor, in which she described the defendant as ' an honourable and decent fellow.'

"No one landed him in the soup except himself," Mr Gould said of his client's admission of guilt.

Judge McNulty said that while there were mitigating circumstances, Mr Dyson participated in criminal damage designed to intimidate the victim.

"You are equally as guilty of upsetting this woman. Messages that were deeply offensive, almost intimidatory and vile were painted on her brand new car.

"You were a low budget hit man," Judge McNulty said.

"The fact remains that the accused was the procurer and facilitator of the crime, provided the paint and acted as the procurer and distributor of dirty money, paid towards a dirty deed. He shared this dirty money on a 50-50 basis.

"Given the insidious nature of the offense the court must impose a custodial sentence," he said.

Judge McNulty said that while he would ordinarily impose a sentence of eight to ten months for such an offense, the defendant's full disclosure and co-operation with the victim since the crime was to his credit. Mr Dyson was sentenced to one month in prison, and indicated that he would not appeal the sentence.

"That would be wise. At the circuit court the result could be much worse," Judge McNulty warned.

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