Saturday 17 March 2018

Taxi driver stabbed hours after vicious first assault


Dolan's 81-year-old victim was on the way home from Mass at St. Mary's Church.
Dolan's 81-year-old victim was on the way home from Mass at St. Mary's Church.

HOURS AFTER beating a Drogheda pensioner 'as hard as he could' with his the victim's umbrella, Joseph Dolan stabbed a local taxi driver to steal his phone.

On March 12, at around 5.30am Dolan and a teenage girl got a taxi from Peter Street to the nearby Mellifont Park.

When the driver stopped Dolan held the taxi-driver's head against the head rest and used his other hand to hold a steak knife to his throat.

Dolan threatened the driver he would slit his throat and when the victim struggled he stabbed him a number of times in the shoulder, head and back.

The driver pretended to pick up something and told Dolan: 'Well, now who will stab who?' and he called for help on his taxi radio. Dolan and the teenage girl ran away having stolen the victim's mobile phone.

When the pair were arrested at a squat in the town the following day Gardai found the blood stained €50 note given to Dolan by the priest who said the Mass the pensioner he attacked had attended.

The taxi driver was treated for puncture wounds to the back of his neck and shoulder and remains affected by the incident, locking his doors while he's on the rank and only taking fares from people he knows. The driver told Gardai if he could do any other job he would.

Dolan, who has 27 previous convictions, later admitted he stabbed the driver when he struggled.

Dolan had taken 'a lot of tablets and bottles of vodka' at the time and Gardai said that when he is not drinking or on drugs, he is, 'a different man'.

He was homeless at the time and had written letters apologising to the taxi driver and the pensioner.

Judge Leonie Reynolds said the photos of the pensioner's injuries were 'particularly distressing having regard to his advanced years' and he had been the victim of 'a savage beating', while the driver had suffered 'a violent and vicious attack'.

She said Dolan had pleaded guilty early and had shown ' a genuine expression of remorse'.

Dolan was sentenced to three years for each robbery, to run concurrently, with the last 18 months suspended on condition he remain under the supervision of the Probation Service for three years. She took the mitigating factors into account including that there was an early plea of guilty and a genuine expression of remorse.

This sentence will start at the end of a three year sentence he is currently serving for violent disorder.