By Tom Tuite
A champion kick-boxer was arrested by a garda detective on duty at the US embassy in Dublin seconds after he snatched a phone while cycling past his victim.
David Brazil, AKA David Flood, aged 23, from Blackhall Parade, Dublin 7, was jailed for six months after he pleaded guilty to stealing a €700 phone at Elgin Road, D.4, on July 18 last.
Judge Bryan Smyth heard at Dublin District Court that a man had been walking along the road in Ballsbridge while texting on his phone.
Brazil rode up on his bike and snatched it from his hand and cycled off but was stopped by a Garda detective on duty at the nearby US embassy.
Judge Smyth heard that Brazil had 52 prior criminal convictions and 23 of them were for thefts. His earlier offences also included robbery and two counts of assault causing harm, the court was told.
Defence solicitor Yvonne Bambury told the court her client was a single man with no children. He was on social welfare but had previously worked for a retailer and had been a champion kick-boxer, she said.
He had been in custody on remand for the past month and was co-operative, Ms Bambury said in pleas for leniency.
He had been affected by deaths of two close family members and began taking tablets. Until then he had been very athletic and had worked out; he was not someone who had been involved in crime all his life, the solicitor said.
Brazil did not address the court during the hearing.
Judge Smyth said he did not have a very good view of people snatching phones from others and he noted Brazil’s 23 prior theft convictions.
He said not everyone turns to crime.
The defence solicitor said that it was a result of his addiction.
Judge Smyth said the court had “no option” but to impose a custodial sentence.