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Dublin: 7 °C Friday 18 October, 2019
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Crack cocaine addict who robbed taxi driver after threatening him with pointed weapon jailed

Gerard Cully pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery of the taxi driver.

Image: Laura Hutton via RollingNews.ie

A CRACK COCAINE addict who robbed a taxi driver after threatening him with a pointed weapon while an accomplice wrapped a rope around the victim’s neck has been sentenced to seven and half years.

Gerard Cully (32) took €30 from the driver and the car keys after he and his co-accused attacked the man.

Earlier that same month Cully also attempted to rob a convenience store and robbed two other shops in Dublin city centre. He was armed with a knife and a hammer and took a total of €415. Cully was identified as a suspect after gardaí viewed CCTV footage of the raids.

Judge Melanie Greally said Cully’s crimes were a “spree of severe offences committed at a very high level” in order to get money to feed his crack cocaine addiction.

She sentenced Cully to concurrent sentences of seven and half years and suspended the final 18 months of the term on strict conditions.

She had taken into account his pleas of guilty, expressions of remorse, the content of a psychological report before the court and the fact that he had previously sought help for his addiction.

Cully, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery of the taxi driver on Railway Street, Dublin, attempted robbery and possession of a knife at Spar on O’Connell Street Upper, robbery of Londis on O’Connell Street Upper and robbery of Fresh on Mayor Street, Dublin on dates between 4 and 29 September 2018.

He has been in custody since his arrest following the robbery of the taxi driver after two men passing by gave chase and held Cully until gardaí arrived.

Cully has 65 previous convictions for offences including drugs, firearms, theft, road traffic and criminal damage.

The robbery

Garda Louise Moran told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that the taxi driver was flagged down by two men who directed him to Railway Street. He had to stop on the road there as there was a block sitting in his path when Cully produced a weapon and demanded money.

The backseat passenger then reached forward and put a rope around the man’s neck but the victim managed to get his finger in between the rope and his neck to prevent himself being choked.

Garda Moran agreed with counsel that the victim then had to defend himself against attacks from both men before they got out of the car. He was jabbed in the shoulder with the weapon Cully had with him before the men again demanded money after telling him that they had his car keys.

The robbers fled but two men passing by came to the victim’s assistance when he informed them that his car keys had been stolen. Cully was caught and held until gardaí arrived.

Garda Moran said Cully still had the weapon with him, which was a cuticle remover, a type of file with a sharp point.

‘A moment of madness’

In a subsequent garda interview Cully said he was “so sorry” and described it as “a moment of madness” because he had been taking crack cocaine.

A victim impact report stated that the man sought medical attention for injuries to his face, neck, head, hands and legs. His glasses were damaged and he lost €500 in earnings. He has since installed a dash cam for his safety and his anxiety at work.

He said he had feared for his life and thought he was going to die. He is worried that the second robber “is still out there”.

Garda Moran agreed with Luigi Rea BL, defending, that his client’s pleas of guilty were “a relief” to his victims.

She accepted that he was in the middle of a chronic addiction at the time and that he had written a letter of apology.

Rea said his client would benefit from intensive residential drug treatment and Cully had been in touch with other treatment centres in the hope that in the future they might consider taking him as a resident for treatment.

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Sonya McClean

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