A Dublin man who was involved in the theft of €35,000 and the assault of two escorts has been sentenced to five years in prison.
Buti Sashi (26) pleaded guilty to theft from the Dublin company and at a separate hearing admitted the assaults and thefts from the sex workers.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard how the company had acted on an email about an update to the bank details of one of their suppliers. It later went on to pay two outstanding invoices to this supplier.
However, several days later, when the company placed an order, they were informed they could not do so until the outstanding invoices were paid.
Garda Sergeant Niall Godfrey told the court how gardaí were contacted when both companies discovered that possible email fraud had been committed.
As a result, gardaí were able to identify the bank account which belonged to Sashi, formerly of Tyrconnell Grove, Inchicore, Dublin.
The home of Sashi was searched, and documents relating to the bank account in question were seized. He was then arrested and detained. Sashi confirmed the bank account was his and told gardai he allowed a prostitute to use his bank account.
Gga Sgt Godfrey told the court the woman in question could not be located. In addition, a total of just over €35,000 could not be recovered as online bank transfers and ATM withdrawals had emptied the account.
Separately, the court also heard how on June 11, 2017, Sashi offered to pay an escort €80 for her services. While at her apartment in the Dominick Street area of Dublin city, she noticed he kept moving cushions on her couch.
After the sexual encounter had finished, Sashi moved toward her and began to choke her. A second woman was present in the house, and he demanded his €80 back and made threats.
A knife was discovered, after the incident, hidden behind the cushions on the couch, which the injured party disposed of. The court heard she did not report it straight away, but when she did, she gave details regarding the accused's tattoos and phone number.
The court heard gardaí traced the mobile phone number to a SIM card purchased in the Meteor store in Grafton Street, Dublin. CCTV footage was obtained from the shop, and Sashi was identified.
Then two weeks later on June 21, 2017, a woman who worked as a receptionist for a group of escorts informed one of the women she had a booking. The man came to the specified address in Heuston South Quarter, and €100 was paid to the woman.
The woman performed a sex act on the man and had intercourse with him. When they had finished and the man had returned from the toilet, he placed a large kitchen knife to the woman's neck. Other people in the house came to the women's aid, and the €100 was returned to the man to get him to leave.
Garda Gareth Daly told the court an investigation took place and the phone number used to book the escort was the phone number of Sashi.
Sashi pleaded guilty in December 2020 to the €35,000 theft regarding a Dublin-based company.
He also pleaded guilty to the assault of both women, and the theft of the cash he had paid to them for their services, on the day this trial was due to begin last November.
Mr Maurice Coffey, SC, defending, said his client had given his bank details to a prostitute, and he was naive to do so. He said his client was addicted to drugs at the time of the offences and his life was out of control.
The court heard Sashi regretted his wrongdoings and that these were cowardly offences.
Judge Martin Nolan said the accused had assaulted and choked two women. He attempted to extract money by hurting them and threatening them. These were vulnerable women.
Judge Nolan said it seemed to some degree these attacks were planned.
For the count of assault on each of the women, Judge Nolan sentenced Sashi to three years in prison for each assault with both sentences to run concurrently.
For the theft of €35,000, he sentenced Sashi to two years in prison, which will be backdated for time already served in custody, to run consecutively to the three years for the assault charges.