Shop worker told robber “are you for real?” before tackling him to ground

By Sonya McLean

A Carlow man whose attempt to rob a convenience store was “foiled by the bravery of the staff” will be sentenced next October.

David Murphy (39), who had been released from a seven-year jail term just four months earlier, later told gardaí that he had planned to rob the shop in Dublin City Centre because “someone I know is in a bit of trouble and needs money”.

Garda Jack McGovern agreed with Keith Spencer BL, defending that he had since learned that Murphy was planning to assist his 21-year-old son who had a drug debt.

Gda McGovern told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting that Marco Moniz was working in the shop just after 6pm when Murphy walked in. His face was covered with a scarf and he was armed with a scissor.

Generic imagery of robber

He threatened Mr Moniz, saying, “give me the money or I'll stab you.” Mr Moniz replied, “are you for real?” before he tackled Murphy to the ground and held on to him.

Mr Moniz's colleague, Hyeon Seok Kim, called the gardaí. Murphy was sitting on the ground in the shop, being watched by the staff, when officers arrived on the scene.

Murphy of Dereen Heights, Tullow Road, Carlow town, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the attempted robbery of Centra on Camden Street on December 28, 2017. He has 64 previous convictions including burglary and robbery.

Judge Melanie Greally remanded Murphy in continuing custody until October 25 next for sentence. She ordered a probation report for that date after noting that no post release supervision had been put in place on his release from prison in August 2017.

She said this lack of proper structure led “to a very hasty return to offending”.

Mr Moniz stated in a victim impact report that he was so terrified by the incident that he no longer works in retail. He said he was afraid he would be stabbed. He now works long hours in construction doing manual labour.

Murphy made admissions in garda interview, describing his actions as stupid. He said he was sorry for what he had done and had been remanded in custody since the attempted raid.

Gda McGovern agreed with Mr Spencer that his client said in interview that he didn't want to injure anyone so he didn't put up a fight when he was tackled.

He agreed that Murphy was “immediately overpowered and didn't try and resist that”.

Mr Spencer said his client was the youngest of four siblings, none of whom had ever been involved in any kind of criminality.

“All of his family are doing really well. He is very regretful and remorseful to bring this kind of offence to their door,” Mr Spencer said.

Counsel said Murphy was a recovering drug addict, and was good natured, caring and compassionate when not on drugs.

Mr Spencer accepted that Murphy's raid was “foiled by the bravery of the staff” and said it had been his “intention of going straight” after his release from prison.

“His son had succumbed to the great frailties he had succumbed to and my client was trying to extradite his son from a horrible situation,” Mr Spencer submitted to Judge Greally.

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