Robber tipped taxi-driver who drove him to and from raid, court hears

Dean Gray (30) to be sentenced next month for spate of shop raids in Dublin

The court heard Dean Gray has 69 previous convictions, including 21 robberies, four burglaries and public order offences. Photograph: Collins Courts.

The court heard Dean Gray has 69 previous convictions, including 21 robberies, four burglaries and public order offences. Photograph: Collins Courts.

 

A robber who tipped a taxi driver who had “unwittingly” driven him to and from the crime scene will be sentenced later for a spate of shop raids.

The court heard the taxi man had driven Dean Gray (30) to a number of locations, including XL Fintstones, Baldoyle, Dublin, and that the fare had come to €64.

Detective Garda Darren Burke said Gray went into the shop with his face uncovered, pulled out a “small fishing-type knife” and robbed €350. He then returned to the waiting taxi and handed the driver €70 to cover the fare.

Det Gda Burke said gardaí ­ later obtained CCTV footage and fingerprints from the store and a statement from the taxi driver who had “unwittingly” driven Gray to the scene.

Gray, of Buttercup Drive, Darndale, Dublin came forward on signed pleas of guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery and production of a knife at the shop on May 21st, 2017.

He affirmed signed guilty pleas to robbing €425 using a screwdriver from Petmania, Gulliver’s Retail Park, Northwood, Dublin, on March 17th, 2018.

He also affirmed signed guilty pleas to robbing €200 from tanning salon Tan Me on New Cabra Road, Dublin 7 on March 12th, 2018 and a further €300 from the same store on April 10th, 2018.

He came forward on further signed pleas of guilty to robbing €200 from Centz shop on North Circular Road on March 14th, 2018 and attempted robbery, threats to kill and producing an article at Spar, Harts Corner, Dublin 9, on April 10th, 2018.

Garda Deirdre Gill told Monika Leech BL, prosecuting, that Gray committed the second Tan Me robbery 10 minutes after the failed Spar raid on April 10th.

Garda Gill and Det Garda Burke both agreed with Karl Monaghan BL, defending, that his client made no attempt to conceal his face in any of the CCTV footage obtained from the shops.

They accepted that Gray had a drug addiction and was robbing to feed his habit.

The court heard Gray has 69 previous convictions, including 21 robberies, four burglaries and public order offences.

Mr Monaghan submitted to Judge Patricia Ryan that his client had had a difficult upbringing and was in a vicious circle of homelessness, drug abuse and criminality to fund his addiction.

He said though his client had become institutionalised, he did aspire to employment and wished to get onto residential treatment for his drug problem.

Judge Ryan put the matter back until late November.