The victim in a mobile phone mugging turned the tables on his attacker by tackling the man to the ground and taking his phone instead, a court has heard.
Gardaí were later able to identify the thief from videos he had of himself when his victim handed his phone in to Clontarf Garda Station.
Blaine Coakley (aged 27) of Lourdes House, Gloucester Place Upper, Dublin was jailed for two years after pleading guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to theft of a mobile phone on the North Strand, Dublin on January 21, 2014.
The court heard that Coakley had approached Daire Cagney near Connolly train station in Dublin and offered to sell him ecstasy tablets.
After Mr Cagney refused to buy them Coakley followed him all the way to the flats complex.
Garda Patrick Gallagher gave evidence that Coakley asked Mr Cagney to check the time. When he took out his phone to do this Coakley grabbed it from his hand and shoved it into his pocket.
He threatened him with a syringe and ran off into the flats. Mr Cagney chased the attacker, pulled him by the hood and tackled him to the ground.
Coakley lay on the ground covering his face with his arms and Mr Cagney noticed the attacker’s phone on the ground and pocketed it.
The court heard that Mr Cagney then viewed video on the attacker’s phone and noticed that the prominent character on it was the person who had taken his phone.
The next day gardaí successfully identified Coakley from these videos.
Coakley was on bail when he tried and failed to rob the phone. He has 93 previous convictions including robbery, larceny, possession of knives and misuse of drugs.
The court heard that the father of one began to dabble in cannabis and other drugs from 12 years old. He was abusing cocaine by 15 and was abusing heroin at 16.
Coakley addressed the court, pleading: “I’m not a bad person. I was introduced to heroin when I was in St Patrick’s at 16.”
“I want to get out. The release date is three days before my 30th birthday. I’m locked up all my life. I want to go for treatment,” he told the court.
Judge Desmond Hogan said the crime was low to midrange on the scale and handed down a two-year sentence to run concurrently with a previous sentence handed down for other offences.
He was due for release in 2017 on this earlier sentence.