herald

Thursday 16 August 2018

Passenger jailed for attack and bus hijack

A man who briefly drove a Dublin Bus after assaulting the driver and later committed a robbery has been given a three-and-a-half year sentence.

Mark Dwyer (34) became angry at the bus driver after missing his stop and after an altercation on the street with him he got back on the bus which moved a short distance at five to 10 miles per hour until two passengers brought it to a stop when Dwyer jumped off.

Some months later Dwyer, while on bail, took part in the robbery of a Centra shop.

Dwyer, of Dolphin House, Rialto, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting Mr Xiang Yu Zhu and endangerment at Cork Street on January 10, 2009 and robbery at Centra, South Circular Road on March 3, 2009.

Judge Donagh McDonagh said the experience must have been "astonishingly frightening" for the driver but said the endangerment was at the lower end of the scale. He imposed consecutive sentences totalling three-and-a-half years.

Garda Kevin Molyneux told Mr James Dwyer BL, prosecuting, that Mr Xiang Yu Zhu was driving the 56a bus from Tallaght to Ringsend when he stopped to pick up a man and woman at Dolphins Barn.

As he drove up Cork Street he heard the man and woman shouting: "You did not stop." He told them he could not stop between stops and that they had not rung the bell. The pair started shouting racist remarks.



Screamed

The driver stopped the bus and asked them to get off. Dwyer, screamed in his face and spat at him before walking off the bus. The driver put the bus into neutral, got off and tried to grab Dwyer to hold for gardai.

He was attacked by Dwyer and the woman and punched to the face, his jumper was ripped in half and he suffered injuries to his hand as he put it up to defend himself. Two passengers intervened to protect him and he rang gardai.

Dwyer jumped on the bus, the driver heard the engine rev and the bus moved off with passengers still on it. The two passengers ran after the bus and when Dwyer jumped off, one of them was able to get on and bring it to a stop.

hnews@herald.ie

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