Jail for brothers who attacked taxi driver and attempted to hijack his car

by Padraig Conlon

Two brothers attacked a taxi driver and attempted to hijack his car but failed to get it started, a court has heard.

Peter Collins (26) wrapped a phone charger cable around the neck of the 60-year-old taxi man while his younger brother Jason Collins (18) punched the man in the face and searched his pockets.

Peter Collins of Collinstown Crescent, Clondalkin, Dublin and Jason Collins of Eden Quay, Dublin 1, both pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery, assault causing harm and unlawful seizure of a car at Rutland Grove, Crumlin, on May 6, 2019.

Judge Martin Nolan said the attempt to steal the car was “a pretty incompetent effort”. He said the incident was a “dreadful attack” and to attempt to strangle someone was “reprehensible”.

Judge Nolan sentenced Peter Collins to four and a half years imprisonment. He sentenced Jason Collins to three and a half years imprisonment, but suspended the final 12 months of the sentence on strict conditions.

Garda Alice Neville told Kieran Kelly BL, prosecuting, that on the night in question, taxi driver Mark Henshaw picked up the two accused along with two women and was asked to drive them to Crumlin.

Gda Neville said that upon arrival, Peter Collins wrapped a phone charger cable around Mr Henshaw’s neck and pulled. Mr Henshaw managed to get a hand between the cable and his neck.

“Don’t move or I will bite your ear off,” Peter Collins told the victim while choking him.

Jason Collins then began to punch Mr Henshaw in the face and searched his pockets. Mr Henshaw was thrown out of the car and saw that the accused were not able to get it started.

A €50 note and an iPhone were stolen from the taxi. Mr Henshaw was left with a small bleed on his brain, a nasal bone fracture and his right eye was swollen shut following the assault.

Peter Collins has 28 previous convictions, including a conviction for assault causing harm in this jurisdiction and a conviction for grievous bodily harm in the United Kingdom.

Jason Collins has 11 previous convictions, all of which were for offences committed when he was a juvenile.

Pieter Le Vert BL, defending Peter Collins, said his client had taken 20 to 30 pills prior to the offences. He said his client does not remember much of the incident but was disgusted by his actions upon viewing footage from the taxi’s dashboard camera.

Jennifer Jackson BL, defending Jason Collins, said her client has been in care since 2009 and has been in over 25 placements. She said her client was a juvenile at the time of these offences.

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