A young man who drove around with a blue flashing light on his car pretending to be a garda during a Covid-19 pandemic lockdown has avoided a jail term despite the judge being annoyed by his “general attitude”.
Dorian Brylewicz (23) and another man stopped a number of people in April 2020 claiming to be gardaí.
Brylewicz was driving the Audi A3 with a blue flashing light on the dashboard when he stopped one man walking his dog. The men claimed they were gardaí but when the walker asked for identification they got back into the car and drove off.
Brylewicz stopped a Dublin bus driver and claimed he was a garda and had to inspect the bus but didn’t go any further after the driver asked for identification.
A third man was also approached by the pair posing as gardaí and the man asked for a badge or some sort of garda identification.
The co-accused ran at the man with his hand raised and the man injured his hand when he put it up to protect himself. The co-accused then tried to take the man’s phone as he was trying to call gardaí.
Brylewicz, of Mulberry Park, Carpenterstown, Castleknock, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to impersonating a member of an Garda Siochana at Carpenterstown Road, Castleknock, Dublin 15, on April 19, 2020.
He also pleaded guilty to theft in May 2019. The court heard he advertised a phone for sale on donedeal.ie and took a payment of €560 from a Cork man for the phone into his then partner’s bank account.
Brylewicz was not on bail for the theft when he impersonated the garda in April 2020. His previous convictions include 10 for road traffic and one for the theft of a bicycle.
Responding to a submission from Brylewicz's defending barrister that he was under the influence of a negative peer group at the time, Judge Nolan said “he conned a young fella from Cork out of his money”, prior to impersonating a garda.
“It seems your client has a severe attitude problem. He thought the law was for everyone else but not him,” Judge Nolan continued.
“How many chances should he get? I am not impressed with the accused and his general attitude,” the judge said.
He said he did accept that Brylewicz is working now and said “it seems his mentality has since changed”.
“And if I am to believe his counsel, he is remorseful,” he continued.
“But does he deserve jail, that is the question. Despite the defendant annoying me in the extreme, in my view it would be unjust to imprison him” Judge Nolan said.
He sentenced Brylewicz to 18 months in prison which he suspended in full on condition that he pay €5,000 within three months to the prosecuting garda, €4,000 of which is to go to a charity in the Castleknock area and €1,000 for the individual he stole the money from.
Judge Nolan said he wanted to clarify the reason for ordering that Brylewicz raise the €5,000.
“The first thing I decide if he should go to jail. I decided, with some reluctance, that he should not go to jail. This is a way of punishing him and reminding him that he did wrong,” Judge Nolan said.
The court heard that in May 2019, a man from Cork agreed to pay €560 for a phone advertised on donedeal.ie. He lodged the money to the bank account provided but never received the phone.
He contacted the gardaí and provided them with the account number, which was later traced to Brylewicz’s then partner. She later admitted that Brylewicz had asked to use her account, he was arrested and made admissions.
The court heard that a year later, during the lockdown in April 2020, a man was out walking his dog when a car when an Audi A3 with a blue flashing light on the dashboard came up beside him.
Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting said Brylewicz was the driver. She said that a passenger, who was previously sentenced, got out and indicated he and the defendant were gardaí.
The pedestrian asked for identification and the passenger said nothing in reply and got back into the car.
The car later pulled up next to a Dublin city bus and the defendant walked up to the door and got on the bus. He said he was a garda and that he had inspect the bus.
The bus driver asked the defendant for identification. He asked the driver “if he trusted him” but “he wasn't aggressive”, the court heard.
Later on that same night Brylewicz and the other man approached the final man who was injured when he raised his hand to protect himself.
Gardai were able to link the registration of the car to Brylewicz and went to his home address the next day. They found the car parked near the house and noticed suction marks on the car windscreen where the flashing lights would have been.
The defendant told gardaí that he and his friend were drinking and that they just wanted to try out the light. He said “it had all being just a prank” and said there was no intention to rob people.
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