A man who participated in the violent theft of more than € 10,000 of cell phones has been jailed.
Karl Dalton (24) was one of three men who stole the phones from a man who bought them for his business. The man was attacked near his home, with one of the thieves attempting to stab him and another hitting him with a wheel wrench.
The Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Dalton was linked to the theft after his fingerprint was found on a car at the scene.
Dalton of Shancastle Park, Clondalkin, Dublin pleaded guilty to robbery at Griffeen Glen Avenue, Griffeen Valley, Lucan, Co Dublin on February 16, 2019. He was previously convicted of possession of drugs for sale or supply and for offenses against the Traffic Laws.
In handing down the sentence, Judge Melanie Greally said it was a “very serious incident” involving a certain degree of premeditation and advance planning.
Judge Greally said the victim had been identified as someone with a large supply of high-value phones. She said the victim was approached near her home and threats were made, including one of the perpetrators shouting to “shoot him”.
She said Dalton’s delinquency seemed to be rooted in his drug addiction, especially heroin, but he stopped abusing the more serious drugs that led him to delinquency in the past. She noted that he played “a practical role” vis-à-vis his daughter and niece.
Judge Greally sentenced Dalton to six years in jail on Thursday, but suspended the last 18 months on strict terms, including that he follow all instructions from the probation service for 12 months after his release.
Detective Garda Hugh O’Carroll told prosecution Karl Finnegan BL that in December 2018 the victim opened a new business selling phones, gadgets and accessories.
Detective Gda O’Carroll said the victim used money from an old business to buy high-quality phones for his downtown store.
The detective said that on the night in question the victim was driving home and had the phones in two boxes in her car. Another car drove very quickly towards him and suddenly stopped in front of his house.
The man ran into the garden and heard people screaming to give him the phones and “shoot him”. He was aware of three individuals, one of whom pulled out a knife and attempted to stab him three times after he fell in the garden.
Another man hit him once with a wheel wrench. The victim said to take the boxes and not to kill him, and the thieves did so before getting in their car and driving away.
The total value of the phones was between € 11,000 and € 12,000. The store’s insurance did not cover the phones, which meant the victim was at personal loss.
Dalton was linked to the case after a palm print lifted from a car’s hood was matched against his fingerprints in the Garda database. He was arrested and questioned, but no probative value was raised.
Defending Seán O’Quigley BL said his client was not the “mastermind of the operation” and has since disassociated himself from this peer group. He said his client had been working since April of this year.
The lawyer said his client struggled with drugs when he was younger. He said when his client’s mother was misdiagnosed, he “got out of the wagon” and started using drugs again.
He said his client’s mother passed away last year and it was a “point of pride” that his client was doing better and that she could see him before he died. He said his client lived with his sister and had a child.