Robber wearing skeleton mask gets away on a bike

by Gazette Reporter
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A bike-riding robber wearing a skeleton mask and wielding a toy gun was unsuccessful in his attempts to rob two premises before later raiding a supermarket, a court has heard.

David Savage (29) later presented himself at a garda station and told investigators he had been in a panic on the day after being pressured to repay a drug debt.

Savage, with addresses at Navan Road, Dublin 7, and Belclare Way, Poppintree, Dublin 11, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal to two attempted robberies and one robbery in the city centre on December 30, 2019. He pleaded guilty to a further robbery on January 14, 2020.

The court heard Savage attempted to rob Paddy Powers on Manor Street, Dublin 7 while armed with an imitation firearm and wearing a skeleton mask, but fled empty handed after staff activated a panic alarm.

Garda Niall Freaney told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that 15 minutes later, Savage cycled up to An Post on Ushers Quay and was again unsuccessful in his attempt to demand money from the cashier.

He said that half an hour later a cashier at Lidl in Rathmines was about to close his till after serving a customer when Savage came behind him and pointed what he believed was a gun into his rib cage.

Savage told the man not to close the till and grabbed notes to the value of €1765 before running out of the shop and being observed cycling off. Gardai reviewed CCTV of the incidents and identified Savage as a suspect.

Savage later told gardai the weapon had been a child’s toy gun and he had dumped it in a roadside bin after the Lidl robbery.

Garda Dylan Walsh said a further robbery took place on January 14, 2020 when Savage jumped the counter at a Burger King, held a knife at a staff member’s rib cage while telling him: “Open the cash drawer or I am going to stab you.”

The cashier backed off and let him take money. Savage told him “I am sorry I need the money,” before jumping back over the counter and running out of the shop.

Savage, who has nine previous convictions, presented himself at Pearse Street Garda Station on February 2, 2020. He was interviewed and made full admissions in relation to the offences.

He told gardai he was using heroin on a daily basis and was under pressure to pay a drug debt.

Gda Freney agreed with Ronan Prendergast BL, defending, that Savage had apologised and said he was desperate for money. He told gardai he had been in a state of panic.

A full plea in mitigation on Savage’s behalf will be heard from Mr Prendergast on the next date.

Judge Melanie Greally remanded Savage in continuing custody and adjourned sentencing until October 11, 2021 to allow updated reports be prepared.

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