A Dublin drug addict who robbed the same shop three times over three weeks has been sentenced to eight years at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
Gardaí were in a back room in an Usher’s Quay petrol station when Michael Carroll (aged 30) of Bride St tried to rob it for a second time at knife-point.
The father-of-two pleaded guilty to robbing a total of €1,405 cash during three armed robberies at News Stop on Usher’s Island between December 29, 2007 and January 12, 2008, robbing €740 from the filling station on January 5, 2008 and an attempted robbery at the same location a week later on January 18.
Judge Pat McCartan sentenced him to eight years with three suspended and backdated it to when he went into custody at the time of the last offence.
Sergeant John Brady told prosecution counsel, Mr Ronan Kennedy BL, that the culprit wore a dark scarf over his face during the robberies but was recognised as a customer by the filling station attendant as he escaped with €740 on January 5 when his scarf slipped.
Sgt Brady said he and his colleagues were in a room off the petrol station’s shop on January 18 and watched on CCTV as Carroll threatened the till clerk with a kitchen knife.
The gardaí ran into the shop and shouted at Carroll to drop the knife.
Carroll lunged at the sergeant with his knife when he was hit in the arm before running out of the shop and across the road to the river wall where he was arrested.
Sgt Brady said Carroll claimed he owed drug dealers €18,000 to fund his €1,000-a-day habit after he had sold his car and needed the cash to pay off the debt.
Sgt Brady said the News Stop shop owner had sold his part of the business after string of robberies in close succession and outlined in his victim impact report that his dream of owning a shop was over.
The owner added that he’d lost earnings because people were staying away from the premises when they heard of the robberies.
His co-owner, who had been working alone in the shop during the second robbery, told gardaí that she had been prescribed antidepressants since the incident.
Sgt Brady agreed with defence counsel, Mr Michael Bowman BL, that his client committed the robberies within "a stone’s throw of his house" at the time in the Oliver Bond flat complex and that this showed a desperation for money.