Drug-addicted identical twin brothers who hid their faces with tea towels "like Eastern women" when they robbed €42 worth of Easter Eggs on April Fool’s Day last year have been given suspended sentences.
Mark and Ciaran Cummins (aged 28), of Fortlawn Park, Blanchardstown carried a bucket and a screwdriver and claimed they had a gun when they demanded money but only got away with the Easter Eggs and chocolate.
Staff at Brady’s Service Station on the Navan Road, Dublin had secured themselves in a back office and watched the raid on the CCTV footage by what gardaí described as "an unlikely pair of criminals".
They pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery of Brady’s Service Station on April 1, 2006 and Mark also pleaded guilty to criminal damage of a hatch window at the Shell Garage in Mulhuddart, earlier that same day.
Ciaran also admitted he was the getaway driver on April 7, 2006, in which staff at Hickey’s Pharmacy in Tyrellstown, Dublin 15 reported that "a little fat man shouted repeatedly ‘give me the … diazipane’ while his trousers kept falling down" before making off with €1,000 cash and an assortment of drugs.
Judge Frank O’Donnell imposed a five-year prison term on Ciaran which he suspended on condition that he keep the peace and be of good behaviour for five years, while Mark was given a two-year suspended sentence on condition that he keep the peace and be of good behaviour for four years.
Judge O’Donnell said he told into account that it seemed "there was no premeditation involved" in the Brady’s robbery and that Mark had no previous convictions while Ciaran had a favourable probation report.
Both are currently undergoing drug treatment and neither had come to garda attention since April 2006.
Garda Olive Jollie told Ms Martina Baxter BL, prosecuting, that workers in Brady’s Service Station described the twins as wearing scarves over their faces "like Eastern women".
Gardaí arrived 15 minutes later and after viewing the security footage, searched the area and came across them outside the local GAA club.
Gda Jollie said both were taken to Blanchardstown Garda Station, where Mark, who had no previous convictions, immediately admitted his involvement. Ciaran, who had three previous convictions for road traffic offences, hit a garda but didn’t injure him.
A search of the green FIAT Punto in which gardaí discovered the twins revealed the stolen Easter eggs, chocolate and two tea towels.
Gardaí were then alerted to another incident earlier that morning in which two men fitting their description tried to rob the Shell Garage in Mulhuddart. One of them smashed the service hatch window with a hammer.
Ciaran told gardaí he agreed to take part in the Hickey’s Pharmacy robbery after two men approached him and offered him "an easy job". He was promised a cut of the drugs taken but never received any. He was on bail for the Brady’s robbery at the time.
Gda Jollie agreed with Ms Caroline Biggs BL, defending Ciaran, that no gun was used during the Brady’s robbery and that gardai described the twins as "an unlikely pair of criminals".
She accepted that Ciaran then had a serious drug addiction but was now drug free and if he remained so "he would not only be an unlikely criminal but would be unlikely to come before the courts again".
Gda Jollie agreed with Mr Luigi Rea BL, defending Mark, that he had also succeeded in dealing with a long standing drug addiction and was now preparing to look for work as a plasterer.
Ms Biggs said that although her client had been taking drugs for 10 years he didn’t need criminal activity to fund his habit because he was able to make a good living working as a plasterer.
She said he was a father of one who had made huge progress in dealing with his drug addiction and now went to schools to talk to students about the dangers of taking drugs.
Phil Briody, Ciaran’s project worker at his local Community Drugs Team, told Ms Biggs that her client had to "carry out acts that were not in his nature to support his addiction."
Mr Rea said that Mark was now totally drug free and was ashamed of his behaviour and "has asked me to apologise to the court for him".