Friday, May 05, 2023

Fiona Ferguson

The sentencing of a man who was identified on RTÉ’s Crimecall as one of those who took part in the early morning robbery of a taxi driver has been adjourned for six months.

Christopher Fox (33) caused “considerable damage” to the taxi by forcing a door at an angle and punching a window, before an accomplice took €150 from the vehicle.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Fox had committed the offence during a short period in 2018 when he was using cocaine heavily but has since turned his life around.

Fox of Maple Avenue, Ballybrack, pleaded guilty to robbery and criminal damage at Circle K, Nutgrove Shopping Centre, Rathfarnham on November 10th, 2018. He has no previous convictions.

Judge Elma Sheahan on Friday adjourned sentencing for six months and ordered Fox to provide €3,000 to be handed over to the victim. She also ordered him to carry out ongoing urine analysis during this period. She listed the case for November 6th, 2023.

Garda Declan Buckley told Tessa White BL, prosecuting, that a taxi driver was flagged by two males in Ballybrack and picked up Fox and another man wearing a red a jumper, who has never been identified. The men asked to go to Nutgrove and later asked the driver to pull in at Circle K.

Gda Buckley said Fox, who was sitting in the rear, grabbed the driver from behind with his arms around his neck, and the driver was then punched four times by the other man in the front seat.

Fox exited the car and moved around to punch the driver window and pull the door at an angle to the front of the car causing considerable damage. The driver turned off the engine and took out a golf club he had to protect himself. The men asked him if he wanted to fight before running off.

The men then returned and the man in red said he wanted to retrieve his phone. He pretended to search in the car but in fact took €150 before they left.

Crimecall footage

Footage of the incident was shown on RTÉ’s Crimecall and Fox was identified by a member of the public. He was interviewed by gardaí and his fingerprints later found on the vehicle.

Olan Callanan BL, defending, said he would not try to minimise the offending noting this had been “thuggish behaviour” involving “cowardly violence” by two men on one man trying to earn a living at 2am in the morning.

Mr Callanan said his client maintains he did not grab the taxi driver from behind.

He said an apology was offered by Fox openly and at the outset of the case.

Mr Callanan said at the time of the offending in 2018 Fox was in a damaging cycle of drug and drink use. He submitted that the aggression and violence shown on the footage was consistent with the use of cocaine. He said Fox had been using it on a daily basis to get through the day.

He said prior to this Fox had never been in trouble of any kind and in 2019 he moved in with his aunt where he got clean of drugs. He handed in letters and testimonials on behalf of his client.

He said Fox had “really turned his life around”. His client is now working and engaged to be married.

Counsel said Fox had been clean of drugs and not accrued any more charges for the past three years. He said Fox is assessed as at low risk of reoffending and has the resources to live a prosocial life.

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