While there are several hundred taxi drivers in Cork, Keith Aherne had the misfortune of picking the car driven by the injured party’s brother in his vain attempt to sell his ill-gotten gain.
The injured party’s brother had a camera inside his car on which he managed to make a video recording, with sound, of Aherne trying to sell him the phone.
The taxi driver knew that his brother’s phone had been stolen the previous day and also recognised the phone. When he said this to Aherne, the thief fled.
Judge Aingil Ní Chondúin imposed a sentence of 10 months on Aherne on a charge of robbery at Cork District Court yesterday.
Aherne, of 15 O’Brien Terrace, Buttevant, Co Cork, pleaded guilty to the robbery charge.
Defence solicitor Frank Buttimer said he could address the court at length on the very challenging circumstances in the defendant’s background.
Mr Buttimer said the accused was presently serving a lengthy prison sentence.
Judge Ní Chondúin said the 10-month sentence imposed yesterday could run concurrently with the sentence now being served by Aherne.
Inspector Vincent O’Sullivan said the accused robbed a Samsung mobile phone from Manjot Singh on April 9, 2016.
“At 8.20pm on April 9, 2016, Mr Manjot Singh was carrying a taxi fare on the South Mall in Cork when the passenger exited the taxi while it was still moving,” Insp O’Sullivan said.
“The taxi driver stopped his vehicle, turned off the ignition and got out of his vehicle.
“Keith Aherne ran towards Manjot Singh who retreated to his taxi for safety and locked the doors.
“The driver’s side window was open.
“The suspect spat at the driver and reached in through the window, took the phone valued at €150 and left.”
The next day he sat into another taxi and tried to sell the phone to him.
By coincidence, the driver was Bikramjeet Singh, brother of Manjot Singh.