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Former star rugby player jailed for 10 years for attacks on transgender sex workers

Sashi 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

Buti Sashi. File photo: Courtpix

Declan BrennanIndependent.ie

A former schools rugby player has been jailed for 10 years for violent attacks on transgender sex workers in their homes.

Buti Sashi (26) was armed with a large knife when he went to the homes of the sex workers, having arranged to meet them at their city centre apartments.

In the first attack on the night of May 26, 2017, Sashi began hitting the victim on the face and body before cutting her with the knife. He demanded sex and sexually assaulted her before stealing her mobile phone and laptop.

The victim suffered a fracture to her left jaw and to an eye socket bone.

Dominic McGinn SC, prosecuting, told the Central Criminal Court that a month later, on June 28, Sashi and another man forced their way into the flat of another transgender sex worker. Sashi was again carrying a large knife and both men began beating the victim and took two mobile phones from her.

When a housemate tried to help the first victim, the men attacked him, breaking his jaw and cutting him twice with the knife. They forced this man to hand over his phone, laptop and €300 in cash,

At a sentencing hearing today, Justice Eileen Creedon said the victims were foreign nationals who were vulnerable because of their work. She noted that they were sending money home and were left fearful about re-engaging with their work after the attacks.

The attacks took place after Sashi had contacted the victims and arranged to meet them in their homes. Justice Creedon said the pre-meditated and planned nature of the attacks was an aggravating factor.

In a victim impact statement relating to the attack in May 2017, the woman described her horror at the sight of the large knife.

She said it felt like she was in a horror movie, with blood smeared throughout the apartment.

“The only reason he stopped was there was so much blood and I think he was disgusted by the blood,” she said. She said that when Sashi left the flat after the assaults she was left “alone, totally humiliated and destroyed”.

She said the attack left her feeling scared and extremely vulnerable. She said she continues to suffer horrible nightmares of the attack, but she is trying to go back to living a normal life.

“I work to support my family, especially my younger brother who is sick,” and said that she was affected by the attack as she was very nervous and found it hard to trust men.

The victim of the later attack said in a statement that she will never forget the night of the attack. She said the men were excessively violent and it seemed their actions were not just about taking their valuables but “about hurting us”.

She said she didn't feel safe in her flat after the attack and had to move out. She said she has been unable to send money home to her family in her native country.

Sashi, formerly of Tyrconnell Grove, Inchicore, Dublin, pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery, two of assault causing harm, one of sexual assault, and one of production of a weapon.

His five previous convictions include one for his role in the violent robbery of a taxi driver in August 2014, when Sashi was aged 21.

He also has convictions for assault of a sex worker and theft from sex workers committed around the same time as the offences before the court today. Last June Judge Martin Nolan imposed a five-year prison term for these offences.

At a previous court hearing, the court heard that Sashi 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.

Defending counsel Maurice Coffey SC said that at the time of this offending his client was “out of control” with a drug problem.

Justice Creedon noted that Sashi is deemed to be at a high risk of committing more sexual offences and at a very high risk of committing violent offences.

She suspended the final two years of a 12-year sentence on condition that Sashi engage with the Probation Services after his release.


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