Man serving 8 years for robbing prostitutes gets concurrent term
A Lithuanian man, who is already serving eight years in jail for robbing prostitutes in Cork and Clare, has been given a concurrent six-year sentence for robbing another prostitute in Galway.
Gediminas Zigmantas, aged 35, pleaded guilty at Galway Circuit Criminal Court to the robbery of €1,700 cash, an iPad, and perfume from a 24-year-old Romanian woman at The Radisson Blu Hotel, Lough Atalia Rd, Galway, on May 11, last year.
The plea to the robbery charge was acceptable to the State on the basis that facts in a second charge, of falsely imprisoning the woman on the same occasion, were admitted.
Garda Dermot Hardiman gave evidence that he went to the hotel that day where the victim told him she was working as an escort in Galway City and had set up an appointment with the accused through Escorts Ireland.
The accused had sex with the woman in a room at the hotel, paid, and left. He then returned and said he had left his mobile phone in the room. She let him into the room and offered to ring his mobile number to locate the phone. He told her there was no need as he let another man into the room behind him.
The woman said she was pinned down on the bed and tied up. Both men ransacked the room, stealing her iPad, €1,700 cash, cigarettes, toiletries, and a bottle of perfume.
Both men then ran from the scene. The woman freed herself and ran after them, pointing them out to the hotel receptionist.
Gardaí in Galway were already aware that gardaí in other parts of the country were looking for a man who was robbing prostitutes in a similar way.
They viewed the hotel’s CCTV which captured Zigmantas leaving the woman’s room with her iPad.
He was arrested on June 16 in Cork and charged for similar type offences there.
Gardai in Ennis were also looking for him at the time.
Garda Hardiman said he had made every attempt since to contact the victim by phone and email but she had not replied and he did not have a victim impact statement to give to the court.
Zigmantas, he said, had travelled in and out of Ireland a lot last year. He has a child in Lithuania and two more with a different woman here in Ireland.
He received a eight-year sentence at Cork Circuit Court on April 28 last for falsely imprisoning a woman on November 20, 2013.
He received a five-year sentence at Ennis Circuit Court a week earlier for robbery of another prostitute on March 6 last year, along with a concurrent five-year sentence for false imprisonment with the final eight months suspended.
Judge Rory McCabe said he would make no moral observations about the circumstances in which this offence occurred but people, he said, did not expect to be treated in this way.
“This was mean, nasty, frightening, and inexcusable,” he said.
He noted the offence in Galway was premeditated and with a similar modus operandi as he had used in Cork and Ennis.
He sentenced Zigmantas to six years in prison with the final year suspended, the sentence to run concurrently to the other sentences already being served.
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