Two south county Sublin teenagers who robbed a pizza delivery man after placing a false order with a fast-food shop have been sentenced to a total of five and a half years by Judge Katherine Delahunt.
Gavin Ryan (aged 19) of St Aubyns, Shanganagh Road, Shankhill and Gene Barry (aged 18) of Achill Road, Ballybrack, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbing the man's mobile phone on August 19, 2007.
Sergeant Ronan Murphy told Ms Caroline Cummings BL, prosecuting, that when the man arrived at the delivery address and noticed that all the lights were out in the house, he called the phone number that had been given with the order but it was an unrecognized number.
Ryan then grabbed him from behind and wrapped his arm around his neck while Barry and two other youths ran at him. One of these three grabbed the pizza after Ryan put a knife to his throat.
Sgt Murphy said the victim struggled with the teenager but the robber managed to push him into a corner.
The victim then threw his phone away after Ryan demanded it off him. Ryan then threatened to "stick the knife" into him if he didn't hand over his money but the man managed to push the weapon away from his throat and escape.
Both Barry and Ryan were nominated as suspects and the delivery man's mobile phone was later found at the bottom of Ryan's bed.
Barry admitted he had snatched the pizza after it fell to the ground and told the gardai that when he saw his accomplice had a knife he left because "there was no way I was sticking around for that".
Judge Delahunt described it as "a horrific crime" when she adjourned the case last February to allow for updated probation reports.
She sentenced Ryan to three years in prison, the last nine months of which she suspended. She described him as "the main player who had organised the robbery" and said he was "the aggressor in this violent attack".
Barry was sentenced to two and a half years also with the last nine months suspended after Judge Delahunt said she had taken into account his cooperation, remorse and the fact of his "low level involvement in the crime".
Judge Delahunt ordered that both teenagers liaise with the probation service upon their release from prison and said she hoped that this would be of assistance to them taking into account the "significant social problems" that Barry in particular had experienced.
Sgt Murphy agreed with defence counsel, Ms Sandra Frayne BL, that Barry had not been as involved in the robbery as Ryan. He had no knife with him and the extent of his involvement was picking up the pizza from the ground.
He accepted that Barry came from an unstable family, had a drinking problem as well as learning difficulties and was easily led.
Sgt Murphy agreed with Mr Sean Gillane BL, defending Ryan, that he freely admitted it was his intention to rob the delivery man.
He accepted that Ryan's mother was supportive of him and had tried her best to keep him on the straight and narrow.
Barry's mother told Judge Delahunt that her son had never been arrested when he was sober and he was a pleasant lad without drink on him.
Mr Gillane told Judge Delahunt that Ryan had been abusing alcohol and other substances including speed, cocaine and prescription drugs since he was 12 years old after his father had left the family two years previously.