Desmond Costello, 42, of 1 Lissadin, Rathkeale, Co Limerick, was a builder who was very busy during the boom years but resorted to using cocaine when the work ran out and he clocked up a €5,000 debt.
Sergeant Stephen O’Shea confirmed the suggestion from defence barrister, Dermot Sheehan, that Costello was in fear at the time in relation to the repayment of the debt.
Costello pleaded guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to carrying out the robbery of a man’s 9-carat gold bracelet worth €2,625 at Minihan’s jewellers on North Main Street, Cork, on April 15.
Costello also admitted assaulting the 83-year-old customer who was present at the time.
His reply to the charges after caution was, “Sorry for pushing over the man.”
Sgt O’Shea said Costello went into the jewellers and asked to see a valuable gold bracelet. As soon as the shop assistant held the bracelet up for the man to see he pulled it from her and made to run out of the shop.
At this stage an 83-year-old man who was present in the shop tried to stop the man from robbing the bracelet and he was pushed over.
Costello fled from the scene and was held on Kyle Street by two men in the area who chased after him when they heard a woman’s scream from the jewellers.
As soon as gardaí arrived on the scene Costello made an immediate admission. He said, “I robbed the jewellery shop. I owe money for drugs. I am sorry.”
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said he would remand the accused in custody until September 8.
“Given his age and this being his first conviction for robbery, I would like to know more about his addiction and how he is managing it,” the judge said.