A criminal who took part in the violent robbery of thousands of euro worth of high end phones from a businessman outside his home, during which the victim was beaten and shouts of "kill him" were heard, has failed to argue that his four-and-a-half year jail sentence was excessive.
Karl Dalton (32) was one of three men who robbed the phones from a man who had purchased them for his business. The man was attacked outside his home, with one of the robbers attempting to stab him in the leg and another hitting on his back him with a wheel brace.
In October 2021, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Dalton was linked to the robbery after his fingerprint was found on the injured party's car at the scene.
Dalton of Shancastle Park, Clondalkin, Dublin, pleaded guilty to robbery at Griffeen Glen Avenue, Griffeen Valley, Lucan, Co Dublin, on February 16, 2019. He has previous convictions for possession of drugs for sale or supply and road traffic offences.
Passing sentence, Judge Melanie Greally said it was “a very serious incident” involving premeditation and pre-planning, though she accepted Dalton was not in possession of either the knife or the wheel-brace on the night.
Judge Greally said the victim had been identified by the three men as someone with a large quantity of high-value phones he purchased for his business in selling and repairing phones.
The man was then approached close to his home by the men when unloading the phones from his car with one of the three shouting “shoot him” and "kill him".
Judge Greally sentenced Dalton to six years' imprisonment but suspended the final 18 months, ordering that he follow all directions of the Probation Service for 12 months upon his release.
The total value of the phones was between €11,000 and €12,000. The shop's insurance, however, did not cover the phones as they were not taken from the victim's business premises in Dublin city centre.
Father-of-one Dalton appealed the length of the jail-term, arguing that a longer period of the sentence should have been imposed in the interests of his rehabilitation.
At the Court of Appeal on Friday, Seán O'Quigley BL said his client had no issue with the eight-year pre-mitigation headline sentence fixed by Judge Greally but argued that the overall mitigation should have been greater, considering his client's progress since the robbery.
Mr Justice George Birmingham, presiding, said Dalton had been involved in a "very serious robbery" involving three people that happened in the vicinity of the home of the victim, who should be entitled to feel "comfortable and safe in his home".
Mr Justice Birmingham said Dalton had been given chances in the past but had a history of drug offences. He said a robbery during which a knife and a wheel brace were produced was "not pretty".
Eileen O'Leary SC, for the State, said the trial judge had made no error in principle in her sentencing of Dalton. Counsel said the sentence was "carefully considered" and took also into account a probation report requested by the defence.
Ms O'Leary said that the report noted that while Dalton had gotten away from heroin use he was still using cannabis even though his previous convictions were "rooted" in drug-use.
In dismissing the appeal at the non-jury court today, Mr Justice Birmingham said the injured party had been relieved of around 20 high-end phones which were estimated to be worth between €11-12K, a deficit made worse in that he could not avail of his business insurance.
Mr Justice Birmingham said Dalton had 43 previous convictions and that it was "inevitable" a significant jail-term had to be imposed upon him for a "very serious" and violent robbery that involved a threat to kill.
Mr Justice Birmingham said the trial judge was "clearly" operating within the sentencing parameters for robbery offences and had addressed all mitigating factors correctly in the case. The judge said the case did not meet the threshold to warrant the three-judge court's intervention. He then dismissed the appeal.