Man committed knife-point robbery while on temporary release

by Gazette Reporter
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A father-of-two who committed a knife-point robbery while on temporary release from prison has received a partially suspended sentence.

Patrick O’Grady (37) of Carrickmount Drive, Rathfarnham, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery at Daybreak, Beaumont Avenue, Churchtown, on June 20, 2020.

O’Grady has 29 previous convictions, including convictions for burglary, theft and possession of drugs for sale or supply.

Garda Declan O’Connor told Tony McGillicuddy BL, prosecuting, that shopkeepers took note of the accused when he entered the shop because he had his hood up and had a black scarf over his face.

Gda O’Connor said O’Grady walked behind the counter, took out a knife and demanded that both tills be opened. The shopkeepers complied and O’Grady stole around €750 in cash before exiting the shop.

O’Grady was identified by gardaí on CCTV footage taken from the scene. The accused could be seen waiting outside the shop for some time prior to the robbery.

Gda O’Connor agreed with Aoife O’Leary BL, defending, that her client has a long-standing addiction to drugs. The court heard he began taking drugs aged 12 and this progressed to an addiction to heroin.

Ms O’Leary said her client made “a foolish mistake” in the throes of a relapse, but that he is now clean of illicit substances while in custody. O’Grady has two children.

Counsel said her client was placed on temporary release into a country in “a significant amount of upheaval” due to Covid-19. She said her client was released without the level of support he required.

The court heard O’Grady has been in custody since his arrest for this offence. He is serving the sentence he had been previously serving before his temporary release. He has a release date for this sentence in March 2021.

Judge Karen O’Connor said she had concerns that the accused committed the offence two weeks after being released from custody. She said he does not have a history of violent offending.

Judge O’Connor sentenced O’Grady to two-and-a-half years imprisonment, but suspended the final 18 months of the sentence on strict conditions. She ordered that the sentence run consecutive to the sentence he is currently serving.

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