‘Nervous’ man had two screwdrivers with him to help rob Blanch shop

by Gazette Reporter

A robber who held up a shop armed with two screwdrivers has been jailed for two years. Patrick Dunne (30) of Santry Lodge, Ballymun, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbing Briarswood Stores, Blakestown Road in Blanchardstown, Dublin on September 29, 2017.

He has 95 previous convictions, including for theft, burglary and criminal damage.

Judge Martin Nolan imposed a two-year sentence on Dunne, saying he used screwdrivers to threaten staff and had a serious conviction record.

Garda Brendan O’Hora told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that Dunne entered the shop with a scarf around his face on the afternoon of the crime.

He had two screwdrivers in his hand which were each five inches long, and demanded that the cashier open the till.

Dunne went behind the counter and took several bags of coins from the till, which amounted to €195. The cashier told gardai that Dunne had seemed nervous at the time.

Dunne was later identified by gardai from CCTV footage as well as from fingerprints taken from the drawer of the cash register.

Dean Kelly BL, defending, said his client was already serving a four-and-a-half year sentence for brandishing an imitation firearm at a shop assistant in Ballymun in September 2017 and had the “bad fortune” that two armed gardai were in the back of the shop checking CCTV footage at the time. “This offence is not as serious at that,” he added.

Mr Kelly said that while his client accepts this is a separate and distinct offence, he asked the court not to extend Dunne’s stay in custody.

Gda O’Hora agreed with the defence that Dunne had a drug addiction which dates back to his mid teens and his history of serious convictions was driven by this.

The court heard that Dunne is “quite pleasurable” to deal with when he stays away from drugs.

Judge Nolan said that he had been asked by counsel not to impose extra custody on Dunne and he would accede to that request.

He sentenced him to two years in prison, saying: “Let’s hope he will turn the corner.”

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