Man pleads guilty of cross-dressing bank raid

A man dressed in a dress and wig, on trial arising out of a €700,000 armed bank robbery during which two female staff members were held captive, dramatically changed his plea on day-two of the hearing at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Danny Hamill (aged 49), of Clanmaurice Road, Donnycarney pleaded guilty to robbing €700,338, false imprisonment of a bank official and possession of a 9mm semi-automatic pistol at the Allied Irish Bank branch in Crumlin, on June 3, 2006.

He had originally denied these charges as well as false imprisonment also of another bank officials and possession of a second 9mm semi-automatic pistol on the same occasion.

The jury heard that Hamill was dressed up as a woman and that he and an accomplice may have used keys to enter the bank.

A set of keys for the front door of the bank and two 9mm semi-automatic pistols were recovered by gardaí who arrested Hamill and another man in the bank carpark before they got away.

Hamill's guilty pleas came following evidence from one of the staff members who described how she feared for her life when two “scarfed-up” raiders entered the bank on the Saturday morning while she and a colleague were there alone fixing a problem with the ATM.

The woman said she didn't realise that one of the robbers was actually a man until gardaí told her because he had arrived in a dress and jeans and wearing a long black wig.

She described the other man as small and fat and said he was wearing a black and white checked shirt and a black baseball cap. Both men were “scarfed up” up to the top of their nose and were wearing sun glasses.

Judge Tony Hunt told the jury that Hamill's guilty pleas were acceptable to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

He remanded Hamill in custody for sentencing later this week and thanked the jury for its time and told the seven women and five men that their service was at an end.


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