Three years for thief who threatened to shoot security guard

A Swords man who told the security guard of a supermarket he had just robbed that he knew where he lived and would shoot him if he did not let let him go free has been given a three-year sentence.

Paul O'Shea (aged 21) with an address at Owensilla was caught outside the shop by the guard who had chased him after observing him on CCTV taking notes from a till where a staff member had been serving him

He kicked the security man in the stomach and groin and then addressed him by name, saying: " I know where you live. I will shoot you if you don't let me go."

O'Shea pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to a robbery at Supervalu, Ballymun Road and making a threat to kill the security guard at Gateway Muse on July 11, 2007.

He will serve the three years sentence after he has completed a two year term imposed last December for assaulting and threatening to kill a prisoner officer and his children after being refused a '"McDonald's dinner" while in custody. He was on bail for this offence when he robbed Supervalu.

Judge Katherine Delahunt said she accepted that the attack on the security guard was an attempt to escape rather then "gratuitous violence" but she had to take into account there were similar offences among his 30 previous convictions. She suspended the final year of the new sentence on strict conditions.

Garda Eamon Taffe told Mr Michael Bowman BL, prosecuting, that gardaí arrived at the scene while the security guard held O'Shea who told them he had been drinking and was upset at his aunt's recent death.

Gda Taffe agreed with defence counsel, Mr John Fitzgerald BL, that O'Shea had apologised for his behaviour during interview.

Mr Fitzgerald said O'Shea started a plastering apprenticeship after his Junior Certificate and had been a talented hurler who played for the Dublin minor team but that ended when he started taking tablets at 16.

He said O'Shea had been released on bail following the offence against the prison officer and had been doing well. He had an interview for a job and returned to hurling. However when O'Shea's aunt died in early July he took a cocktail of drink and drugs and "engaged in this behaviour".

O'Shea was given a five year sentence with the final three years suspended last December by Judge Patricia Ryan for assaults on prison officers, threatening to kill one of them, and for a number of robbery offences.

Garda Conor Tumbleton told prosecuting counsel, Mr Michael Bowman BL, that O'Shea was under the prison officers' supervision as he was being escorted from Swords Garda Station to Swords District Court.

O'Shea demanded to eat a McDonalds meal and when that was refused attempted to head-butt prison officer Derek Bray who managed to avoid it but he then successfully head-butted a second prison officer.

He told Mr Bray he would shoot him and his family before kicking him in the groin and continued to threaten him in this manner while being restrained.

He was then taken to a solicitor's room in the courthouse where it took a number of gardaí and a prison officer to calm him down. When Mr Bray came into the office he launched a flying kick at him and told him he would have someone waiting outside for him who would follow him home and kill him and his children.

He also admitted to attempted robbery of an off-license and theft from Superquinn in Northside Shopping Centre on February 11, 2006 and robbery of the Shell Service Station in Glasnevin on March 10, 2006, which was committed while on bail for the assault on the prison officer.


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