crime spree | 

Baby-faced brothel robber gets three extra years in jail days before he was due for release

Samuel Pop (28) violently robbed prostitutes across Dublin and Roscommon

Samuel Pop

Eamon DillonSunday World

The baby-faced thug who robbed prostitutes in a terrifying crime spree got a new three-year sentence just days before he had been due to walk free from prison.

Samuel Pop (28) is serving his time on a sex-offenders wing in the Midlands Prison from where he expected to walk out of this week.

But instead, he got a fresh three-year sentence after pleading guilty to his role in the violent robbery of a prostitute at the Travel Lodge, Swords in 2019.

His co-accused Ioan Galben (41) who got five-and-half-years had previously been convicted of another robbery just a day later in Dublin city-centre.

Galben told gardaí the women in Parnell Street would not pay a “tax” to a criminal gang and that he had been “brainwashed” into collecting the cash by the gang.

A third member of the gang Andre Tigansu died from a heart attack while in Castlerea Prison serving time for the gang’s first robbery in Roscommon on 28 October 2019.

Their 12-day crime spree struck terror into prostitutes after the violent robberies in which victims were stripped, tied up, had knives held up to them, beaten and threatened with being killed.

They took cash, phones, laptops and also passports which left victims in fear of being targeted by the criminal gang again.

This week they both pleaded guilty to robbery and false imprisonment at the Travel Lodge, Swords on November 11, 2019.

Pop had made the call to the woman but Galben turned up and after having sex with her opened the door for the other two men.

A knife was put to her face as they searched her room while her wrists were then tied and was turned to face a corner in the room.

They found €6,000 in a suitcase before they left the room, also taking two phones, cigarettes and lipsticks.

It was the fourth robbery of a prostitute who had been contacted through their adverts on Escort Ireland.

The first one, 12 days earlier, a couple working from an apartment in Roscommon were targeted in which they attacked and robbed after an appointment was made by Pop.

The following day as the pair left the apartment to see if the robbers had discarded their passports they recognised Pop, who had returned to the town to a car which had broken down after the robbery.

They reported what they knew to gardaí which provided gardaí a breakthrough when the same vehicle was stopped at Dorset Street.

At that stage they had already carried out a second robbery at the Clayton Hotel in which Tignasu repeatedly assaulted the woman before stripping her of her clothes.

The victim showed the men €800 which was hidden in a book, which the men took along with her phone and her passport.

Pop held her down again while Tignasu said his boss was downstairs and that they needed more money or they would kill her.

He tied the victim's earphones around her neck and started hitting her head off the wall while saying he would kill her if she did not give him the code to the hotel safe.

The woman was crying on the floor when Tignasu told her to take off her clothes, before taking them off himself when she refused.

Pop then said she could put her clothes back on and once she had done so he tied her hands behind her back with a phone charger.

As the men were leaving the room, the Tignasu told the victim that this was not the end and that they would send somebody up to kill her.

Judge Martin Nolan said this week Pop and Galben “deserve extra time in prison” after involving themselves in “criminal misbehaviour”.

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