Tuesday 23 January 2018

Teenager jailed for three years after he thumbed his nose at previous chances

Sonya McLean

A TEENAGER has been sentenced to three years for stealing a Chinese takeaway and robbing a taxi driver after a judge said he had thumbed his nose at the chances the courts had previously given him.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring had told 19-year-old Daniel Wall at a sentence hearing earlier this year when she heard of him stealing from Yang Yu, “this kind of crap” puts delivery men off doing their jobs.

Wall of Greenhills Grove, Tallaght, was back before her today after he threatened a taxi driver with a sharp object to the back of his neck and demanding money from him.

“I did not think highly at all of your activity in relation to the food delivery man and I am very sorry to hear that a few months later you do it again, to a taxi driver providing a much needed service to the public,” Judge Ring said.

She said there was “a nasty element” to the robbery because the taxi driver did not know what was being held to his neck.

“Your previous history is of you getting a chance. The courts were willing to bend over for you and give you these chances but you thumb your nose at them,” the judge continued referring to Wall’s many previous convictions from the Children Court in which he had been given both probation bonds and suspended sentences.

“The court’s trust in you is now gone. I have no option but to impose a custodial sentence,” Judge Ring said before she suspended the last 18 months of the three year term on the condition that he liaise with the Probation Service for two years upon his release from custody.

Wall had pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to theft of the takeaway, worth €18, at Greenhills Grove on May 19, 2011 and to robbery at Eden Quay on August 2, 2011. His previous convictions included burglary, drink driving and public order.

Keith Spencer BL, defending, told Judge Ring it had been “an utterly senseless crime” that had been committed by his client because he needed money for drugs.

Counsel said Wall was now drug free and sincere in his efforts to rehabilitate.

Garda David Morris told Úna Tighe BL, prosecuting, during the earlier sentence hearing, that as Mr Yu drove into the estate a yellow van was blocking the road so he pulled in and took the takeaway out to deliver it.

He was then approached by Wall who grabbed the food and was very aggressive towards him. Mr Yu felt scared for his safety but asked Wall for the money.

Wall refused to give it and told the man to “go away” before he got into the yellow van and started eating the food.

Gda Morris said Mr Yu then called to the house where the food was supposed to be delivered to in the hope of getting some assistance but they didn’t help. The garda confirmed that these people were Wall’s cousins.

Mr Yu again tried to get the money from Wall as he passed him in the van but Wall threatened to kill him with “a fucking knife”.

The victim ran away and alerted the gardai. Wall was arrested minutes later and made admissions.

Gda Morris told Mr Spencer he was not aware that two of Wall’s brothers had died recently in tragic circumstances.

Garda Stephen King said that Wall and a co-accused hailed down the taxi and Wall got into the front seat. He later got into the back seat sitting behind the driver, put something to his neck and said “give me the fucking money out of your pouch”.

He took €70 got out of the car and ran towards O’Connell Bridge. The driver pulled into a nearby rank and could see Wall and his accomplice going into a Spar shop.

He called the gardai but Wall ran away as they approached. He was later identified when gardai viewed CCTV footage from the shop.

Wall was arrested a few days later and admitted in subsequent interview that he had been on tablets and drugs at the time and was strung out.

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