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Dublin man involved in theft of €35k and assault of escorts was star rugby player

Sashi had became involved with Leinster rugby at the age of 14 and played with the under-15 team. He went on to play for Blackrock, Liberty Saints and Guinness RFC

Sashi Buti

Sunday World

A Dublin man who was yesterday handed down a five-year prison sentence for his involvement in the theft of €35,000 and the assault of two escorts had been a star rugby player for Blackrock College, it can be revealed.

Buti Sashi (26) pleaded guilty in December 2020 to the €35,000 theft regarding a Dublin-based company.

At a separate hearing, he also pleaded guilty to the assault of both women, and the theft of the cash he had paid to them for their services, on the day this trial was due to begin last November.

In Dublin District Court, Judge Martin Nolan sentenced Sashi to three years in prison for each assault with both sentences to run concurrently.

He also sentenced Sashi to two years in prison, for the theft of €35,000, which will be backdated for time already served in custody, to run consecutively to the three years for the assault charges.

In July 2016, Sashi, of Tyrconnell Grove, Inchicore, Dublin, was given a nine-month sentence for beating up and robbing a taxi driver to avoid paying a fare.

The former Blackrock College rugby player had pleaded guilty to the robbery of Joseph Saji at St Michael's Estate, Inchicore, on the night of August 23, 2014.

Judge Catherine Murphy said she was jailing Buti Sashi (20) with "great reluctance" after he failed to engage fully with probation and restorative justice services and failed a drugs test.

Garda Mark Costello previously told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that Sashi flagged down the taxi on the Naas Road and he got into the front passenger seat. Another man with Sashi got into the back seat.

They told the driver to take them to St Michael's estate, which Garda Costello described as a derelict site with no CCTV.

Once there, the other man put his arm around the driver's neck and Sashi started hitting him. The men robbed his iPhone, SatNav and €220.

Shortly after getting out of the car, Sashi realised he had left his passport, mobile phone and a necklace in the footwell.

He went back to the car but the driver had locked the doors.

After his arrest later for the robbery, Sashi told gardaí that he didn't know how his property had ended up in the taxi.

Fiona Pecker BL, defending, previously told the court that her client was drunk on the night. She said he became involved with Leinster rugby at the age of 14 and played with the under-15 team. He went on to play for Blackrock, Liberty Saints and Guinness RFC.

Sentencing him at the time, Judge Murphy said Sashi had been given "every opportunity" by the court to improve his situation..

Yesterday, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard how the Dublin company that had been robbed of the 35,000 euro had acted on an email about an update to the bank details of one of their suppliers. It later went on to pay two outstanding invoices to this supplier.

However, several days later, when the company placed an order, they were informed they could not do so until the outstanding invoices were paid.

Garda Sergeant Niall Godfrey told the court how gardaí were contacted when both companies discovered that possible email fraud had been committed.

As a result, gardaí were able to identify the bank account which belonged to Sashi, formerly of Tyrconnell Grove, Inchicore, Dublin.

The home of Sashi was searched, and documents relating to the bank account in question were seized. He was then arrested and detained. Sashi confirmed the bank account was his and told gardai he allowed a prostitute to use his bank account.

Gga Sgt Godfrey told the court the woman in question could not be located. In addition, a total of just over €35,000 could not be recovered as online bank transfers and ATM withdrawals had emptied the account.

Separately, the court also heard how on June 11, 2017, Sashi offered to pay an escort €80 for her services. While at her apartment in the Dominick Street area of Dublin city, she noticed he kept moving cushions on her couch.

After the sexual encounter had finished, Sashi moved toward her and began to choke her. A second woman was present in the house, and he demanded his €80 back and made threats.

A knife was discovered, after the incident, hidden behind the cushions on the couch, which the injured party disposed of. The court heard she did not report it straight away, but when she did, she gave details regarding the accused's tattoos and phone number.

The court heard gardaí traced the mobile phone number to a SIM card purchased in the Meteor store in Grafton Street, Dublin. CCTV footage was obtained from the shop, and Sashi was identified.

Then two weeks later on June 21, 2017, a woman who worked as a receptionist for a group of escorts informed one of the women she had a booking. The man came to the specified address in Heuston South Quarter, and €100 was paid to the woman.

The woman performed a sex act on the man and had intercourse with him. When they had finished and the man had returned from the toilet, he placed a large kitchen knife to the woman's neck. Other people in the house came to the women's aid, and the €100 was returned to the man to get him to leave.

Garda Gareth Daly told the court an investigation took place and the phone number used to book the escort was the phone number of Sashi.

Judge Martin Nolan said the accused had assaulted and choked two women. He attempted to extract money by hurting them and threatening what were vulnerable women.

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