Man caught with stolen phone after undercover garda rang the number and arranged to buy it back
A man, who was caught with a stolen phone after a garda rang the number pretending to be the owner and arranged to meet to so he could buy it back, has avoided a jail term.
Daniel Keenan (20) claimed he had nothing to do with the initial robbery and said he had got the phone off “a junkie” he had just met on the street.
He was arrested after he appeared at an agreed meeting point on a bicycle. Keenan called out to the victim who was in position “Where are you going? I have your phone here”.
He then turned into a laneway at such speed that he fell off his bike. Armed gardaí who had been standing nearby monitoring the meeting moved in and found the phone in Keenan’s sock.
Keenan of Annamore Drive, Cabra, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to handling a stolen phone on February 16, 2013. He had nine previous convictions for theft, handling, road traffic, public order and criminal damage offences.
Judge Martin Nolan sentenced Keenan to two and half years in prison which he suspended in full on condition that he co-operates with the Probation Service for a year.
He had remanded Keenan in custody pending sentence earlier this month and told him today that he had hoped his short stay in prison taught him a lesson.
Garda Brendan Dunne told Lorcan Staines BL, prosecuting that the victim was mugged minutes before he contacted gardaí.
Garda Richard Morrison then called the number and told the man who answered that he wanted to buy the phone back.
The man warned that “he was a big time gangster” and agreed to sell him the phone for €100. He said if any gardaí were at the agreed meeting point, the man would be shot.
Keenan later claimed that he was not the man who answered the phone and also denied that he had shouted out to the victim that he had his phone.
Eoin Hardiman BL, defending, told Judge Nolan that his client has family support and good work prospects.
He said Keenan has never been in custody and suggested that prison may not be the right course for someone of his age.