Jail for man who claimed 'doppelgänger' robbed taxi driver

A man who told gardaí it was his “doppelgänger” who had carried out the robbery of a taxi driver has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.

Robert Lynch, 32, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the robbery of Alan Thompson on the Malahide Road, Dublin on September 4, 2016.

Lynch, of Greenwood Avenue, Donaghmede, Dublin, and formerly of Ferrycarrig Green, Coolock, Dublin, also admitted the robbery of a Spar shop on October 15, 2017.

Garda Alan Roach told Judge Pauline Codd that Lynch has struggled with drug addiction since his teenage years and has made efforts to rehabilitate. He said that the defendant looked a very different man in court today to the man who committed the robberies.

Judge Codd imposed consecutive prison terms of three years and three-and-a-half years. She suspended the final three years on condition that Lynch engage with drug rehabilitation programmes and keep the peace.

Lynch was one of two men who attacked Mr Thompson in his taxi after he had picked them up in a garage forecourt. Lynch sat in the backseat and threatened the driver by saying he had a blade while the second man sitting in the front seat assaulted the victim and took his coin dispenser.

Lynch was identified on CCTV walking around the forecourt for 10 minutes before the men got into the taxi car. He was arrested but told gardaí that “he had a doppelgänger in the area” and that was the person on the footage.

He later entered guilty pleas to both robberies.

His 54 previous convictions include robbery, possession of knives, and making threats to kill.

Micheal Hourican BL, defending, told the court that his client had a difficult upbringing but had the support of his family. His brother was shot dead some years ago, the court heard.

Garda Paul Egan told the court that on October 15, 2017, two men went into a Spar shop in Holywell Estate, Swords. He said that Lynch had the lesser role while the other man, who was never identified, threatened staff.

The men took €280 in cash from the till and left. Gda Egan said the staff member wasn't injured. No weapons were produced during either of the robberies.

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