NewsCrime Desk

Suspended sentence for man who took part in robbery outside garda station

Mark McCann
Mark McCann

A man who took part in the robbery of a phone and car keys from a taxi driver outside a garda station has been given a suspended sentence.

Mark McCann (23), of Abbeylea Drive, Swords, Co Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery in the man's taxi outside Swords garda station on May 1, 2012. He has 13 previous convictions.

The victim had driven to the station after he became suspicious that McCann and his accomplice were not going to pay their taxi fare.

Judge Melanie Greally noted McCann had since made genuine efforts to turn his life around and said she was going to let him continue to do so. Judge Greally imposed a four year sentence which she suspended for four years.

McCann's accomplice, Claire Lawlor (26) was last year given a two and a half year suspended sentence. The court heard that she had also made efforts to turn her life around and was doing well

Garda Elaine Duffy told Maire Torrens BL, prosecuting, that a taxi driver picked the pair up in the early hours of the morning in Blanchardstown and they asked him to drive to Lusk.

He said the fare would be €35 and they asked him to pull in at an ATM. He noticed that McCann and Lawlor were whispering to each other.

The man pulled in at a petrol station at about 6am and Lawlor went inside. She came out with cigarettes and coke. She said she had forgotten her ATM card and that her mother would pay the fare in Lusk.

The driver, who was becoming aware that something was wrong, asked for the pair's phones as security. Lawlor said her phone was broken.

The man drove to Swords garda station and told the pair as they were not going to pay they had to come into the station with him. McCann grabbed him around the neck in a choke hold and punched him in the head.

The taxi driver who had undergone heart surgery was worried that his pacemaker might dislodge.

The pair escaped with the man's car keys and his phone. McCann was arrested in March 2013 and told gardaí he could not remember the incident as he had taken drugs.

Lorcan Staines BL, defending, said McCann and Lawlor had been a poor influence on each other but had now disassociated and were doing much better.

He said McCann came from a respectable, decent family and had recently become a father.