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Man who destroyed evidence in garda station and urinated in cell jailed

Rhys Moran (24) was jailed for four years.

File photo
File photo
Image: RollingNews.ie

A MAN WHO destroyed evidence in a garda station and urinated in his cell while under arrest for robbery has been jailed for four years.

Rhys Moran (24), of Faussagh Road, Cabra, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery at Charleville Road, Phibsborough, on 10 May 2018, and to perverting the course of justice and criminal damage at Bridewell Garda Station, Chancery Street, on the same date.

He also pleaded guilty to robbery at D’Olier Street, Dublin, on 9 May 2018. He has 18 previous convictions, including a previous conviction for robbery while he was a juvenile.

Passing sentence today, Judge Melanie Greally said Moran was “clearly out of control” and unable to control his impulses. She said urinating in his cell was “a self-defeating act of defiance”.

Judge Greally said she took into account his pleas of guilty, his insight into his actions, the extensive difficulties he has had and the fact that he is still a very young man.

She sentenced Moran to six and a half years in prison, but suspended the final two and a half years of the sentence on strict conditions including that he follow all directions of the Probation Service for 12 months post-release.

At an earlier sentencing hearing, Garda Aisling Daly told Lisa Dempsey BL, prosecuting, that on the date in question Moran approached a man outside his house. The victim told gardaí that Moran pulled out a “large knife” and told him to hand over his keys.

Moran took the keys and got into the victim’s car, but was unable to start the ignition. After leaving the car he swung the “knife” at the man several times before being arrested by gardaí who happened to be passing at the time.

Daly agreed with Dean Kelly BL, defending, that no knife was found and it seemed a piece of plastic which was discovered near the scene was actually used to threaten the victim.

Broken golf club

Detective Garda Colm Kelly told Dempsey that while investigating another matter involving Moran, gardaí found a broken golf club which they marked as an exhibit and placed in an evidence bag.

Kelly said that while being interviewed, the golf club was shown to the accused, who grabbed the evidence bag and ripped it open. He said that as a result of this, the evidence was destroyed.

Moran became irate at the conclusion of the interview and began to urinate when returned to his cell. The total value of the damage to the cell was €69.46, which was the cost of the professional cleaning service employed to clean the cell, the court heard.

Garda Caolan Fitzmaurice told Dempsey that the day before these offences, Moran stole a phone from a woman in Dublin city centre while cycling by her, accompanied by another man on a second bike. The woman was struck in the face and her glasses were knocked off.

Fitzmaurice agreed with Kelly that CCTV footage obtained by gardaí did not show the incident, but that his client accepted he was the one who stole the woman’s phone.

Kelly said his client was taken into care as a teenager, had experienced mental health difficulties and began using illegal drugs at “a pitiful young age”. He said all of the offences took place within a number of hours which suggested this was a young person out of control.

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Brion Hoban

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