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Dublin: 8°C Wednesday 19 January 2022

Jail time increased for man who attacked taxi driver with glass bottle

The man had pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at Slade Road, Saggart in 2015.

Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin.
Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin.
Image: Shutterstock/Aitormmfoto

A 31-YEAR-old Dublin man, who broke a beer bottle over the head of a taxi driver, has had his jail term increased by nine months on appeal by the State.

David Murphy of Belfry Green in Tallaght had pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm at Slade Road, Saggart, on 21 March, 2015.

The court heard that the taxi driver had collected Murphy and a woman from a house in Clondalkin and was asked to drive them to the Citywest area.

Murphy was carrying a beer can and a bag containing bottles of beer.

As they travelled up Slade Road, Murphy asked the driver to turn back around, and then suddenly pulled the handbrake of the car.

Murphy took a beer bottle from the bag at his feet and smashed it over the driver’s head. He then picked up the remains of the bottle and threatened to stab him if he didn’t get out of the car.

Murphy and the woman eventually left, and the driver escaped.

Murphy, who has a history of violence, was on bail at the time for assaulting a garda.

He has 41 previous convictions, including for assault causing harm, violent disorder, violent behaviour in a garda station and criminal damage.

Judge Pauline Codd sentenced him to three-and-a-half years in prison, but suspended the final two years and nine months of the sentence in light of mitigation.

However, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) today appealed the undue leniency of that sentence to the Court of Appeal.

Derek Cooney BL said that it was the suspended portion of the sentence that was at issue.

He submitted that, with remission, Murphy would serve just six months and three weeks for an offence that the court had considered to be at the uppermost end of the scale.

“The complainant was an innocent taxi driver out earning a living,” he said. “This was an unprovoked and vicious attack.”

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Sarah-Jane O’Callaghan BL responded on behalf of Murphy.

She said that the director was failing to have regard to the fact that a suspended sentence was a real punitive sentence hanging over his head.

“The suspension of a large portion was made legitimately,” she said.

Justice John Edwards, presiding with Justice Patrick McCarthy and Justice Aileen Donnelly, considered the matter for a number of hours.

Justice McCarthy delivered judgment, saying that the extent to which Murphy’s sentence was suspended was unjustified, was a significant departure from the norm and had led to undue leniency.

They quashed the sentence and resentenced him again to three-and-a-half years in prison.

However, this time, they suspended only the final two years.

About the author:

Natasha Reid

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