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Dublin man jailed for attacking pizza delivery driver and hijacking his car

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that a man on horseback acted as a lookout for gardaí

Cherry Orchard Avenue, Ballyfermot

Fiona Ferguson

A man has been jailed for an attack in which he beat a pizza delivery man and hijacked his car.

Thomas Greene (29) punched, kicked and pulled the driver from his car after the victim was approached by a group of males while out on a delivery.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that a man on horseback acted as a lookout for gardai.

Greene of Elmdale Park, Ballyfermot, pleaded guilty to unlawful seizure of a vehicle and robbery at Cherry Orchard Avenue, Ballyfermot on August 8,2020.

He has 69 previous convictions and is currently serving a two and half year sentence for affray.

Judge Melanie Greally said the delivery driver had been targeted by Greene and the men for apparently no good reason as he was endeavouring to carry out his job. She said it was a “very violent and sustained assault” coupled with the theft of cash and seizure of his vehicle.

Judge Greally said it appeared drugs were a major factor in Greene’s offending and that he was engaging with drug counselling service. She took into account his admissions and remorse.

She said she was mindful of the sentence he is already serving and the need to incorporate some scope for rehabilitation.

Judge Greally imposed an 80 month sentence with the final 12 months suspended.

Sergeant Colm McElligott told Simon Matthews BL, prosecuting, that the victim, a part-time pizza delivery driver, was out with an order when he was approached by a group of males. Greene went to the front of his car, impending its progress, and kicked it.

Greene then came to the window, which was open, and punched the driver twice. The man tried to back out of reach and Greene grabbed the car keys, before pulling the driver from the car.

The man fell to the ground and was kicked a number of times by Greene, before standing up and being hit again. The man lost consciousness at this stage and when he came around Greene was attempting to start his car.

The driver grabbed the door in an attempt to stop him and was hit twice more on the arm. He let go as the group of males told Greene to “kill” the driver and take his car. One of the men, who was on a horse, was acting as a look out for gardaí.

Greene drove off in the car and a woman came to driver’s help. Gardaí were alerted.

The man was taken to hospital where he was treated for two broken bones in his wrist and underwent surgery. Gardaí were unable to trace him to obtain a victim impact statement.

The car was later recovered abandoned, locked and damaged, without the keys.

Gardaí identified Greene after reviewing CCTV from the area. DNA retrieved from the car also matched Greene.

James Dwyer SC, defending, said his client had begun using drugs in his mid-teens and had a difficulty ever since. He submitted drugs were at the root of his offending and outlined the services Greene had been engaging with in his community.

Counsel said Greene could not recall committing the offence but was remorseful and there was a letter of apology before the court. He said he had been effected by the death of his mother.

Mr Dwyer said this was an extremely serious offence but asked the court to structure a sentence taking into account the mitigating factors and incentivising rehabilitation into the future.

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