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Ballymun man (22) jailed for horrific taxi robbery in north Dublin

CourtsBy Aoife Nic Ardghail
Maughan (22) pulled the taxi driver's head back and threatened to cut his throat after being dropped to his destination
Maughan (22) pulled the taxi driver's head back and threatened to cut his throat after being dropped to his destination

A Dublin man who robbed a 62-year-old taxi driver after holding what the victim thought was a blade to his throat has been jailed for three years.

Garda Pamela Dunne said that Christopher Maughan (22) pulled the taxi driver's head back and threatened to cut his throat after being dropped to his destination at a Ballymun halting site.

Maughan's friend got out of the passenger seat and walked around the car to take the keys from the ignition.

The driver was then ordered to walk towards fields across from the halting site, while the two young men sped off in his car.

Maughan, of St Margaret's Park, Ballymun, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbing cash and a phone at St Margaret's Park, Ballymun in the early hours of October 14, 2014.

He has 33 previous convictions, including robberies, possession of knives and assaults.

Gda Dunne told Fiona Murphy BL, prosecuting, that the victim took a cab to a garda station after a halting site resident gave him a phone on which to report the crime.

Gardaí immediately took him around in a patrol car and his taxi was soon found undamaged near where it was taken, but without its taxi plate.

The man's €35 cash float, phone, driving license and tax clearance certificates, as well as car keys belonging to his wife, were also missing from the vehicle.

Gda Dunne said the taxi driver identified the culprits, who had been stopped by colleagues a short distance from the vehicle.

She told Ms Murphy that the robbed items were recovered on Maughan and his accomplice. She said Maughan was co-operative and didn't give trouble when arrested.

Gda Dunne agreed with Pieter Le Vert BL, defending, that no blade was found on the young men and that Maughan had been intoxicated when arrested.

She agreed that Maughan has a drink and tablet problem.

Mr Le Vert submitted to Judge Martin Nolan that his client had had ten operations for a medical difficulty, has a “shunt” in his head and requires regular contact with a neurosurgeon.

Counsel said Maughan had been victim of an attack last June, during which he almost lost an eye and had to have his ear surgically reattached.

Mr Le Vert added his client hoped to continue with his education in custody.

Judge Nolan took into account Maughan's early guilty plea but said his record of conviction “allows no great mitigation”.