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Man to be sentenced later for assisting an accomplice who drove with a garda hanging off her car

By Sonya McLean

A man who told a woman to clean a car of her fingerprints after she had just driven the vehicle while a garda was holding onto it will be sentenced later.

Trevor Robinson (30) was in the car with Christina Joyce (33), when she accelerated away as Garda Thomas Gallagher was attempting to seize her vehicle.

At Joyce’s sentence hearing in July 2018, Gda Gallagher read from his victim impact statement in which he said he expected to die that day.

The garda said he felt he had to hold onto the door of the Volvo car to stop himself being pulled under the vehicle.

He told Judge Martin Nolan: “There was nothing I could do. If I let go (of the driver’s door) I would be dragged under the car. I had nowhere to go. I accepted at that stage I was dead. The speed we were going I thought there was no way I wouldn’t be killed.”

Gda Gallagher, who had been working as a garda for 14 years at that time, said he noticed that Joyce seemed to be driving her vehicle in the direction of a parked car across the road so he felt he had to let go of the door. He fell to the ground and skidded into the parked car.

Gda Gallagher said at that point, he was convinced that “everything below my knee was gone, that it was shattered. I consider myself extremely lucky that I am alive and able to walk.”

Gda Gallagher, who was taken to hospital by ambulance, dislocated his knee and had to remain in a brace for eight weeks. He also badly injured his shoulder and had been told he cannot return to playing sports for about two years.

Joyce, a mother of three of no fixed abode, was sent forward from the District Court to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court  on signed pleas of guilty. She admitted endangering Gda Gallagher and assaulting him causing him harm on April 9, 2018.

Judge Martin Nolan jailed Joyce for four and half years in 2018 after commenting that Gda Gallagher had “no option but to grab the driver’s door to stop being run over”. He said Joyce was “intent on getting rid of him”.

Today Judge Melanie Greally adjourned sentencing Robinson to October 13, next, after commenting that a custodial sentence was unavoidable.

She ordered a report from the Probation Service for that date to see what can be offered Robinson in terms of rehabilitation.

Sergeant Ronan Waldron told Dara Hayes BL, prosecuting, that an eye witness, who later saw Joyce crash the Volvo into a rubbish truck, heard Robinson shout at Joyce “to wipe it down” as they were running away from the vehicle.

Robinson of Cherry Orcharde Parade, Ballyfermot pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assisting an offender after an offence and two charges of burglary on April 9, 2018.

He has a number of previous convictions both in Ireland and the UK but his Irish convictions are mostly for minor offences.

The court heard that Joyce and Robinson broke into the home of a 77-year-old woman after Joyce crashed into the bin truck, having driven away from the earlier incident.

The pair had broken into the house in a bid to escape gardaí and Robinson had to kick down the woman’s back door so that they continue to get away.

They broke into a second nearby apartment where gardaí found them and arrested them.

There was €1,622 worth of damage caused to the wall of a building Joyce had earlier crashed into and €1,200 worth of damage was caused to a parked car she and Robinson had jumped on top of to scale a wall.

Sgt Waldron told the previous sentence hearing in 2018 that earlier that day he got a report that a Volvo jeep had struck a wall of a building after the driver had driven onto the footpath.

Gda Gallagher later spotted the same car at traffic lights and indicated to the driver to pull over.

The car slowed down a number of times but failed to stop. Joyce eventually stopped it at Macken Villas on Grand Canal Dock and Gda Gallagher approached to check the insurance details on the car.

Joyce gave a false name and when the gardaí established that she had no driving license or insurance they asked her to hand over the keys so they could seize the car. It was at this point that Joyce took off at speed.

Sgt Waldron said after Gda Gallagher fell from the car, Joyce continued driving at speed. One member of the public later stated that the vehicle took a corner so fast the car almost toppled over.

Joyce continued to drive in the bicycle lanes before she ultimately collided with a Dublin City Council van on Waterloo Road.

Sgt Waldron told Mr Hayes that the green light was in the van’s favour when Joyce’s vehicle struck it on the rear left. The two passengers in the van were left with bruising.

Joyce’s car stopped a few yards away and Robinson was overheard telling her to wipe down the car so no prints would be left behind.

They then ran off but members of the public, who witnessed the crash, followed them while videoing and taking photographs of them. During the chase, Joyce instructed Robinson to produce his blade. He reached down for his sock but never produced a knife.

Sgt Waldron said the couple jumped onto a parked car before climbing over a wall and into a building, where the 77-year-old house owner came downstairs when she heard voices.

She said Joyce and Robinson appeared agitated and panicked and claimed that they were being pursued. They said they were going to be shot and shouted at her to let them out the back door.

Sgt Waldron said the woman couldn’t find her keys so the man kicked her back door down and he and Joyce went “flying through her back garden and over the back wall”.

The armed support unit had been called in because of the earlier mention that the man had a knife. They arrived at the woman’s house soon after in attempt to find the pair and continued to search the local area.

Sgt Waldron said Joyce and Robinson were later discovered in an apartment on Waterloo Road and were arrested.

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