An American man who threatened to set off a bomb in a bank in Cork has been given seven days to leave the country, writes Liam Heylin.
Judge Olann Kelleher imposed a 10-month jail sentence but suspended it on condition that the accused leaves the country in the next seven days.
Judge Kelleher said that it was an extremely serious matter but he took all of the surrounding circumstances into account.
Geremy Justus, aged 38, of no fixed address, went to the AIB on St Patrick’s Street, Cork, on March 27 and handed a note to the employee. The note read: “This is a robbery. I have a bomb in my bag. Give me the money or I will kill us all.”
The member of staff was very frightened at the time and she did not wish to come to court to give evidence.
Justus pleaded guilty to the offence of attempted bank robbery last week and he was remanded in custody until yesterday for sentencing.
Frank Buttimer, solicitor, said that half an hour after the ill-fated crime, Justus gave himself up at the Bridewell Garda Station and confessed to what he had done.
Mr Buttimer said that, with no disrespect to his client, it was clearly a harebrained attempt at a robbery.
“He ended up in Cork, he ran out of money, not least because of his alcohol addiction. And he came up with this most unusual idea. It could never have been successful.”
The solicitor added that apart from passing over the note there was no physical confrontation and the accused left empty-handed.
“Within half an hour he went to the Garda station and said ‘I am the guy you want for the bank’,” said Mr Buttimer.
The solicitor said that the defendant had been psychiatrically assessed during his remand in Cork Prison. He suffered post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of violence he witnessed as a child and also suffers from alcoholism.
His brother will arrange to get a flight to get the accused home as soon as he is released from prison, said Mr Buttimer.
This article first appeared in the Irish Examiner.