A 22-year-old man brandished a machete at a garda pursuing him and his uncle from a shop they had just robbed, a court has heard.

Dean Donovan, of no fixed abode, and his uncle Jonathan Donovan (33), of O’Devaney Gardens, were running to a getaway car when garda arrived at the scene.

Dean dropped a cash till he was carrying and produced a machete when gardai approached as he attempted to get into the car driven by his uncle.

The pair of robbers made their escape but were pursued and arrested.
Dean and Jonathan Donovan pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery of the Spar shop at Martin’s Road, Chapelizod on April 8, 2018.

Dean also admitted production of a machete, while Jonathan pleaded guilty to driving without insurance on the same occasion.

Dean Donovan further pleaded guilty to six counts of burglary at locations in Dublin in October 2015, and on dates between January and March 2018.

Jonathan Donovan has 83 previous convictions, including a six-year sentence with 18 months suspended for assault causing serious harm and production of a weapon.

He was on the suspended portion of that sentence, which has since been reactivated, when this robbery was committed.

Dean Donovan has 51 previous convictions for offences including violent disorder, assault, hijacking, burglary, criminal damage and public order offences.

Judge Melanie Greally adjourned finalisation to allow her to consider a number of reports.

Garda Peter Smyth told Dara Hayes BL, prosecuting, that he and Garda James Keogh were alerted to a robbery in progress at the Spar shop on Martin’s Road, Chapelizod on April 8, 2018.

Dean and Jonathan Donovan had entered the shop armed with knives and robbed €305 in cash. Jonathan had dropped a meat cleaver as they fled from the shop.

As gardai arrived, Dean and Jonathan were running from the shop, with Dean carrying one of the shop tills. The robbers ran towards an Opel Corsa and Jonathan got into the driver’s side.

Dean dropped the till as he tried to get into the passenger side. Gda Keogh approached him and Dean produced a machete, which he brandished at Gda Keogh. The garda took a step back to avoid being hit by the weapon.

Gda Smyth, who was driving a patrol car, attempted to box in the getaway car but had to take evasive action to avoid a collision as the Opel Corsa sped off on the Knockmaroon road.

Garda followed the car and found it abandoned with Dean and Jonathan on the opposite side of the road.

Jonathan was held at the scene while Dean climbed over a wall into the Phoenix Park. A description of Dean was put out over garda radio and he was arrested nearby.

Money was recovered from both men with a merchant copy of a bank slip from Spar amongst the notes. Both men’s DNA were found on the meat cleaver left at the scene.

The court also heard Garda Niall Godfrey outline Dean Donovan’s involvement in five burglaries in 2018 in the Dublin 2 and Dublin 8 areas. Dean made admissions to the burglaries, despite saying he had no recollection of some of them.

The garda took a step back to avoid being hit by the weapon.

Gda Smyth, who was driving a patrol car, attempted to box in the getaway car but had to take evasive action to avoid a collision as the Opel Corsa sped off on the Knockmaroon road.

Garda followed the car and found it abandoned with Dean and Jonathan on the opposite side of the road.

Jonathan was held at the scene while Dean climbed over a wall into the Phoenix Park. A description of Dean was put out over garda radio and he was arrested nearby.

Money was recovered from both men with a merchant copy of a bank slip from Spar amongst the notes. Both men’s DNA were found on the meat cleaver left at the scene.

The court also heard Garda Niall Godfrey outline Dean Donovan’s involvement in five burglaries in 2018 in the Dublin 2 and Dublin 8 areas. Dean made admissions to the burglaries, despite saying he had no recollection of some of them.