Serial offender with 111 previous convictions jailed for armed  robbery

by Gazette Reporter
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 By David O’Sullivan

A man with 111 previous convictions has been handed a prison sentence for the robbery of a pharmacy with a screwdriver.

David Mantle (45), of no fixed abode, appeared before Judge Elma Sheahan in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court last week having pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at St Agnes Road, Crumlin on October 21, 2021. He also pleaded guilty to robbing a pharmacy in Ranelagh on November 26, 2022.

Detective Garda Sarah-Jane Hoey gave evidence that she was called to St Agnes Road in Crumlin just after 6pm on October 21, 2021.

She saw a man who said he had been assaulted. He had blood on his face and a cut to both his forehead and the back of his head. He was disorientated and his speech was slurred.

The man declined to tell the garda how he was injured, but CCTV from a shop showed a man approaching him from behind and striking him several times with a dog chain.

The court heard Mantle was arrested in St Agnes Park shortly after the incident as he fit the description of the attacker.

An ambulance was called and the injured man was brought to St James’s Hospital. He needed two stitches to the back of his head and his cuts were treated. 

Detective Garda Shane Cahill gave evidence that Mantle and another man entered the pharmacy shortly after 2pm on November 26, 2022. Mantle was covered up and armed with a screwdriver.

They demanded cash and medication from the two staff members working there at the time. Cash of €470, medication, headsets and one of the staff member’s mobile phones were stolen.

CCTV footage was obtained and Mantle was identified from the footage. He was later arrested.

Mantle made no admissions during interview for either offence but pleaded guilty on a trial date to both offences.

No victim impact statement was handed into the court on either charge.

Aoife O’Leary BL, defending, said Mantle had “longstanding difficulties with drug addiction” but is “determined to try and deal with the underlying addiction issues.”

She said that at the time of offending, Mantle had “relapsed strongly into addiction.”  

Mantle has 111 previous convictions, including for assault, assault causing serious harm, robbery, attempted robbery and drug possession.

In sentencing, Judge Sheahan said the aggravating factors were the seriousness of the offending, the previous convictions and the use of a screwdriver in the robbery.

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