Not a Nice Pair of Criminals, Sex Offender, and Attempted Murderer?

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Sex offender and man previously convicted for attempted murder face sentence for breaking into Conor McGregor’s pub

3rd November 2022

A sex offender and a man previously convicted of attempted murder will be sentenced in the next month for breaking into a pub owned by Conor McGregor.

Jason Paget (35) and Charles Darcy (34) appeared in court today having previously admitted to burglary at the Marble Arch bar in Dublin last year.

They have also pleaded guilty to separate offences relating to a high-speed pursuit in the city four months after the pub break-in.

Dublin Circuit Court previously heard evidence that on August 13, 2021, gardaí were on patrol in Drimnagh when they saw a car parked outside the Marble Arch pub with its lights on and engine running.

Garda Brendan D’Arcy gave evidence that the pub’s alarm was ringing and the shutter had been forced open while gardaí also heard noises coming from inside the premises. Two men were then spotted trying to push a cash register underneath the pub door.

He said the men retreated back into the pub and minutes later they heard dogs barking on a nearby street. Charles Darcy, of John’s Lane West in Dublin 8, was found hiding in the bush of a house and when arrested claimed he was visiting a married woman but left before her husband returned.

The garda agreed that the burglary was “unsophisticated” and that the accused made a drunken attempt to flee.

Gda Sean Magee previously said Jason Paget was arrested near the scene and had €225 in his pocket which he was unable to account for. The defendant was highly intoxicated, unsteady on his feet and had a cut on his head. DNA evidence from a hat recovered near the scene also matched Paget.

Both men pleaded guilty to burglary at the pub, which was bought by UFC star Conor McGregor that year, and to using a motor vehicle without the owner’s permission on the same date. Paget will be sentenced next week while Darcy will be sentenced next month with his legal team awaiting the completion of psychological reports.

Today Det Gda Eoin Hickey, of Crumlin garda station, gave evidence of a separate incident in the city later that year.

He told John Berry BL, prosecuting, that on December 18, 2021, a pizza delivery driver had his Mini car stolen by three men on the South Circular Road at around 9pm.

The car was later observed travelling erratically in the south-inner city which included being driven on the wrong side of the road, around roundabouts the wrong way, and at times on two tyres while taking corners at speed. Mr Berry said it presented a “grave hazard” to other motorists on the road at the time.

Following a pursuit that lasted around ten minutes the car crashed into a parked vehicle at Long’s Place in Dublin 8 and the three men tried to flee. Gardaí attempted to arrest Jason Paget but he resisted and, during a struggle, a garda suffered a fractured arm and was hospitalised. Paget, who was wearing a facemask and latex gloves upon arrest, was taken to a garda station before being brought to St James’ Hospital.

The court heard that him and the injured garda were in the same hospital and when Paget saw the garda in a sling he shouted at him: “I hope it’s f****ng broke, I hope it’s sore, it’s mangled”.

Paget admitted to dangerous driving, unauthorised taking of a vehicle, and assaulting the garda. Darcy has peladed guilty to possession of a realistic imitation firearm relating to the same incident.

In mitigation defence counsel Karl Monaghan BL said that at the time Jason Paget was addicted to crack cocaine and heroin. He said his client became involved in the offending to pay for his drug use and that he was now focused on returning to the UK.

Paget, from John Field Road in Dublin 8, has 15 previous convictions including aggravated burglary and aggravated sexual assault.

He was aged 16 when him and another man broke into a house and ordered a female college student to have sex with her housemate after she had been forced to strip naked.

At the time Mr Justice Paul Carney labelled Paget a sex offender as he jailed him for 15 years with five years suspended. Paget will be sentenced on November 9 in relation to the pub burglary and dangerous driving incident last year.

The court was told that the defence is awaiting the completion of psychological reports for Charles Darcy. Judge Orla Crowe adjourned sentencing in relation to the pub burglary and possession of the imitation firearm until December 9.

The court previously heard he has 43 previous convictions including a 12-year sentence for attempted murder.

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