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  • Northside East

Today in court

Tuesday, 11th February, 2020 4:24pm
Today in court
Today in court

By Brion Hoban

A man destroyed evidence and urinated in his cell in a Garda station while under arrest for robbery, a court has heard.

Rhys Moran (24) of Faussagh Road, Cabra, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery at Charleville Road, Phibsborough, on May 10, 2018.

He also pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and criminal damage at Bridewell Garda Station, Chancery Street, also on May 10, 2018. He has 18 previous convictions, including a previous conviction for robbery while he was a juvenile.

Garda Aisling Daly told Lisa Dempsey BL, prosecuting, that on the date in question Moran approached a man outside his house. The victim told gardaí that Moran pulled out a “large knife” and told him to hand over his keys.

Moran took the keys and got into the victim's car, but was unable to start the ignition. After leaving the car he swung the “knife” at the man several times before being arrested by gardaí who happened to be passing at the time.

Gda Daly agreed with Dean Kelly BL, defending, that no knife was found and it seemed a piece of plastic which was discovered near the scene was actually used to threaten the victim.

Detective Garda Colm Kelly told Ms Dempsey that while investigating another matter involving Moran, gardaí found a broken golf club which they marked as an exhibit and placed in an evidence bag.

Det Gda Kelly said that while being interviewed, the golf club was shown to the accused, who grabbed the bag and ripped it open. He said that as a result of this the evidence was destroyed.
 
Moran became irate at the conclusion of the interview and began to urinate when returned to his cell. The total value of the damage to the cell was €69.46, which was the cost of the professional cleaning service employed to clean the cell.

Judge Melanie Greally ordered a probation report and remanded Moran in custody until May 6, next.

****

By Brion Hoban

An IT specialist who tried to get a “financial bounty” by falsely claiming he had uncovered vulnerabilities in Eircom's systems has been given a suspended sentence and ordered to pay €35,000.

Alexander Jones (33), formerly of Church Road, Skerries, but now residing in the UK, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dishonestly operating a computer with intention of making a gain at Telephone House, Marlborough Street, Dublin, on a date between February 4, 2014 and April 24, 2014.

Detective Garda Colm Gallagher told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, said that while working for a company which provided tech support to Eircom, Jones accessed confidential information.

Jones claimed he had done this through vulnerabilities in the company's system, which allowed him to access the information from his personal laptop using a particular type of software. He told his employer that a “bounty” would usually be paid to someone who uncovered a vulnerability.

Internal and external investigations carried out by Eircom proved that Jones could not have accessed the information using the software he had claimed to have used. The total cost of the investigations amounted to €72,000.

Dt Gda Gallagher told the court that Jones had actually copied the data from the internal system onto his personal laptop. The investigation exposed that Jones had accessed the telephone conversations of customers and insurance claims.

Judge Martin Nolan said it was an “unusual crime”.

“He attempted to create a problem where there was no problem, then he purported to solve the problem that he had manifested himself.” He said this had created “worry and consternation” for the company.

Judge Nolan said Jones was a man of “considerable talent” but that “he certainly ill-used it”.

He handed down a suspended sentence of three years on the condition that Jones pay €15,000 to his injured parties within the month and a further €20,000 in a year's time.

Jones, whose partner and baby were in court for the sentence, cried as the sentence was handed down.

Det Gda Gallagher said Jones had no previous convictions before pleading guilty to similar offences this week before Dublin District Court. He said that, prior to the more recent offences, Jones had generated unauthorised Xbox discount codes valued at €410,000 and sold some of the codes online.

While €48,000 worth of the codes were used, Microsoft suffered no financial loss as they became aware of the situation and cancelled all of the unauthorised codes.

***

 

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