Tuesday 20 March 2018

Mother of man killed after alleged car-jacking pleads for driver not to be jailed

Crashed taxi
Crashed taxi

Eimear Cotter

THE mother of a young man who died in a taxi allegedly driven by his best friend does not want to see him go to jail, it has been claimed.

Joseph Robinson (24) is charged with dangerous driving causing the death of his best friend Alex Doyle (25), who suffered fatal injuries after the taxi crashed.

Mr Doyle, a father of one from Cuffe Street in Dublin’s city centre, died after a red Skoda Octavia taxi crashed into a pole near Mount Brown in the south inner city on June 8.


The accused was initially refused bail by a judge in the District Court.

He is now set for some months in custody after his application for bail was also refused by the High Court.

Gardai had objected to bail, citing the seriousness of the charge and the strength of the evidence.

At the High Court yesterday, a sergeant said it will be alleged that Mr Robinson was driving a red Skoda Octavia taxi at “excessively high speed” in the Dublin 8 area.

It will be further alleged that Mr Robinson was overtaking cars while on the wrong side of the road, forcing them to take evasive action.

And it will be alleged that a vehicle crashed into a wall to avoid a collision with the taxi.

The officer said it will also be alleged that a car driven by Mr Robinson crashed into a metal lamppost and the front-seat passenger was killed.

The court heard that Mr Robinson, who had suffered a head injury, was arrested 300 metres from the scene.

The court will be told that witnesses have placed Mr Robinson in the driver’s seat at the time of the crash.

It will also be alleged that Mr Robinson made admissions in interview and was captured on CCTV fleeing the scene.

The sergeant said the taxi driver initially told gardai he had two individuals in his car, there was a dispute over a fare and they took his keys and threw him from the vehicle.

The court heard he subsequently made a second statement in which he said he knew the men.

He claimed Mr Robinson asked him constantly to use the car, he refused and he took it.

Defence lawyer Leonora Frawley BL said that Mr Robinson strongly refutes the allegation that the taxi was hijacked before it crashed.

She said the accused is claiming he had been driving with the consent of the taxi owner, who had taken drugs with him.

Cross-examined by Ms Frawley, the sergeant accepted that the man who died was Mr Robinson’s best friend, and the pair had known each other all their lives.

He also accepted that Mr Doyle’s mother has told gardai she does not want Mr Robinson to be punished by prison.

The accused’s mother, Jackie Robinson, said her son and Mr Doyle grew up together, were “best friends since babies” and the two families were also close friends.


She said she attended Mr Doyle’s funeral, and his family has said their prayers are with her son.

Mrs Robinson, who is on disability, said the family was willing to lodge €5,000 to secure bail for her son. She also said the accused would abide by any bail conditions.

Ms Justice Marie Baker said it was with regret she was refusing bail, as this added to the accused man’s grief.


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