Suspended sentence for pharmacy theft

A 27-year-old man who was "highly strung out" on a concoction of alcohol and drugs when he stole drugs from a pharmacy and assaulted gardaí has been given a four-year suspended sentence.

Drug addict Alan Hutch of Sherrard Street Lower in the north inner city pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to stealing an amount of drugs from Allen's Pharmacy at Summerhill Parade on March 6, 2009.

He also pleaded guilty to assaulting Garda Gary Moran and Garda Neil Japieda at Mountjoy Garda Station on the same date.

Judge Martin Nolan said he “is reluctantly going to take a bit of a risk and suspend the entire sentence” because Mr Luigi Rea BL, defending, said Hutch is seeking daily treatment from Narcotics Anonymous and “is no longer a menace to society”.

“Either Hutch has the inner resolve to adopt the right course or he doesn’t,” said Judge Nolan.

Earlier Garda Tara Dolan told Ms Roisin Lacey BL, prosecuting, that Hutch, who has 49 previous convictions, went into Allen's Pharmacy at 11.45am with a hood over his head and part of a jumper sleeve wrapped around his face.

He went into the dispensary area of the pharmacy brandishing a small butcher's knife where Ms Marian Allen, a part-owner, was working.

He shouted at Ms Allen not to move and swiped an amount of drugs including Dalmane tablets and made his way out of the pharmacy.

Ms Allen said she was acquainted with Hutch as a previous customer who used the false name "Michael Kelly."

Gardaí located the accused man walking along North Circular Road and when he was brought to Mountjoy Garda Station gardaí searched him.

Refusing to comply with gardaí, Hutch clenched his fists and told them he was a trained boxer and he said he would "kill them."

"He was in an aggressive state and then he calmed down," said Gda Dolman.

As gardaí removed his runners and trousers, Hutch clenched his fists and threw a number of punches at Gda Moran hitting him on the head.

During the melee, Hutch had fallen and hit his head off the cell bed while Gda Moran fell and hit his head off the wall.

Hutch then jumped up from the floor and started punching and "lashing out" at both Gda Moran and Gda Japieda, challenging them to a fight.

Mr Rea said Hutch had been feeling unwell earlier in the day and "was looking for drugs to feed his habit."

"He didn't want to hurt anyone but just frighten them. He was highly strung out and afterwards swallowed two boxes of the tablets in a lane way and a further two at a canal," said Mr Rea.

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