SINCE the recession began in 2007, all types of crime in the Republic -- apart from burglary which is up 15pc -- have shown significant falls each time the CSO's annual figures have been released. Despite the fall in crime, Dublin's district courts are still busy. Eimear Cotter presents a roundup of some of the more memorable cases from 2012 . . .
In February, a priest accused of falsely advertising his services as a psychiatrist in a national newspaper had the case against him dismissed.
Anthony Egan (57) had placed the ad after he was duped into paying €1,000 to complete a fraudulent degree in psychiatry from a fake university in an internet scam.
Gardai began an investigation after the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, saw the advertisement and contacted them.
A judge dismissed the charge against Fr Egan on "technical" grounds.
A court heard Fr Egan placed the advertisement because he wanted to build up his client base and earn some money.
The priest, of Botanic Road in Glasnevin, had denied that he, as an unregistered medical practitioner, falsely advertised his services, contrary to the Medical Practitioners Act, 2007.
Judge Grainne Malone dismissed the charge.
Dad's threats to kill over school place for his son
A FATHER-of-four threatened to kill a school principal during a meeting about his child attending the school, a court heard.
Anton Zogaj (37) told the principal that "gardai, the CIA and SAS" would not be able to protect her if she did not let his son attend the school in south Dublin.
Zogaj apologised for his behaviour, with his lawyer saying the defendant was a very emotional man who did not mean it.
Solicitor Kevin Tunney said Zogaj, who is originally from Kosovo, had picked up the phrase "I'll kill you" since he came to Ireland 13 years ago.
Zogaj, of Brookview Gardens in Tallaght, admitted before Tallaght District Court to making threats to kill or cause serious harm to a school principal at St Bridget's Junior National School in Tallaght on May 28.
Garda Stephen Murray said he was called to the school shortly before 3pm, the principal was very upset and told him there had been an incident during a meeting with the defendant.
The garda said Zogaj became aggressive and threatening towards the principal and told her that "gardai, the CIA and SAS will not be able to protect you for what I will do for my son if he does not come to this school".
Garda Murray said Zogaj told the principal: "I've had a hard life, if you make my life hard, I will make your life harder".
Judge Anthony Halpin ordered a probation report and adjourned sentencing to January.
Love/Hate star denies hit and run charges
ALSO in court this year was Peter Coonan (inset right), star of RTE drama Love/Hate.
The actor, who plays Fran in the gangland drama, has denied dangerous driving and hit and run charges. The 28-year-old is accused of dangerous driving at the N11 Foxrock on May 22.
Coonan is also accused before Dun Laoghaire District Court of three hit-and-run offences, including failing to give appropriate information to gardai, failing to keep a vehicle at the scene of an accident and failing to report an injury.
Mr Coonan has denied the allegations and a hearing date has been set for January.
Man hit and kicked in face, robber took ¤15
IN December, a Dublin teenager was sentenced to six months in prison after he set upon a man on the street, knocked him to the ground and kicked him in the face -- all for €15.
Adam Cronin (19) left the man with facial injuries, including a laceration to the forehead that needed stitches.
A judge described the attack as "savage".
Judge Hugh O'Donnell imposed a six-month sentence, suspending the final two months for one year.
Cronin, of Grange View Place, Clondalkin, admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to robbing a man at the junction of Boot Road and Fonthill Road, Clondalkin, on July 30.
Sergeant Maria Callaghan said the victim was walking home at 2am when he met Cronin, who was with another man and two women.
As they passed him, Cronin set on him after demanding money.
He then struck the man several times, knocking him to the ground. While he was on the ground, he was kicked at least twice in the face. The victim handed over €15.
Solicitor Matthew Kenny said Cronin, who has no previous convictions, has had problems with drink and drugs and doesn't remember much about the robbery.