Raider halted robbery after shop worker recognised him

An indecisive raider pulled out a knife at an off-licence and declared “this is a robbery”, but a moment later he clarified that it was not a robbery after all. Jamie Condon was more decisive in his plea of guilty yesterday to the charge of attempted robbery at O’Donovan’s off-licence in Blackpool, Cork.

Condon, aged 29, from 4 Rock Cottages, Commons Road, Cork, admitted the offence of attempted robbery at the premises at 8.30pm on January 31, 2018. Sgt Gearóid Davis said that on that evening, a lone male entered O’Donovan’s on Thomas Davis St, Blackpool. He had his face covered with a neck-warmer.

“He said: ‘This is a robbery’, but the shop assistant informed the man that he recognised him. At that stage, the suspect pulled the neck-warmer down off his face and said it was not a robbery and he was only joking and he left the premises,” Sgt Davis said.

A week later, on February 6, the defendant was arrested in relation to the incident and admitted that was him who entered the off-licence with the knife. The man said at the time that his memory of the incident was very vague and that it was not his intention to carry out a robbery, but he could not explain his behaviour.

Donal Daly, defence solicitor, said that in the period of more than a year since this occurred the young man had taken significant steps to turn his life around. This included a 28-day rehabilitation programme followed by a five-month period in a residential programme in Bruree, Co Limerick.

“He is off alcohol and all substances and is in full-time employment,” Mr Daly said.

He also wrote a letter of apology to the member of staff who was present at the time. Judge Olann Kelleher said he would put sentencing back for two months to see how the defendant would behave and the case would be finalised then. While the defendant had two theft convictions, Mr Daly said Condon had nothing for attempted robbery or anything of that nature.

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