Accomplice runs over thief’s foot in an attempted getaway

By Brion Hoban

A man whose foot was run over by a car driven by his accomplices in the robbery of a gold necklace has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Alan McHugh (39) and two other men were pursued by the victim of the robbery who succeeded in catching McHugh and taking away his knife.

Criminal Courts of Justice 2 09032017

Dublin Circuit Criminal

McHugh, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery at Fernwood Avenue, Tallaght, on March 22, 2019.

Garda John Byrne told Dara Hayes BL, prosecuting, that on the date in question Wojciech Gajoch arrived in Tallaght with his wife and two children to sell a gold chain.

Garda Byrne said the chain was a 14-carat gold “Versace-designed” necklace which had been advertised on DoneDeal for a selling price of €4,900. Mr Gajoch had bought the chain in Poland the previous summer and was selling it to put down a deposit for a house.

Mr Gajoch was flagged down on the road by the potential buyer who was carrying an envelope and Mr Gajoch got out of his car to speak with him. He wished to see the cash first, but the potential buyer asked to see the chain first.

The potential buyer leaned into the car and took the chain from Mr Gajoch’s wife. Two other men approached Mr Gajoch, one of whom was the accused who was holding a knife.

The three men surrounded Mr Gajoch and one of them hit him in the head. The potential buyer grabbed the keys from the car’s ignition and the three men ran way.

Mr Gajoch ran after the men and McHugh started swinging the knife at him, saying “I will kill you, go away”.

Mr Gajoch grabbed the accused’s hand, got the knife from him and brought him to the ground. The two other men got into a car and drove at the accused and Mr Gajoch.

As the car drove at them it drove over McHugh’s foot. The car stopped beside them and the potential buyer asked from the passenger seat what they were going to do now.

“F***, you drove over my foot,” replied McHugh.

The car then turned around and drove away without the accused. The gold necklace was not recovered.

McHugh has 133 previous convictions, including convictions for burglary, handling stolen property, possession of drugs and assault causing harm.

Padraig Dwyer SC, defending, said his client wished to express his remorse for the offence and gave instructions not to ask for a lenient sentence.

He said his client had been a drug addict all his life and estimated he has spent a total of 15 years in prison.

Judge Martin Nolan said the offence was “a particularly nasty robbery”. He said he was not sure if the men intended to rob the chain from the start, but they were prepared to do so if they could not get the chain by duplicitous means.

Judge Nolan sentenced McHugh to six years imprisonment, but suspended the final 18 months of the sentence on strict conditions.

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