Pharmacist followed knife-wielding robber to his home after theft of Valium

'He's not very good at crime, he seems to get caught a lot,' judge says
Pharmacist followed knife-wielding robber to his home after theft of Valium

A knife-wielding robber who was followed by a pharmacist after he stole a bag of Valium tablets has been jailed for four years.

Paul Bradley (40) caused a “considerable amount of trauma” to the staff at Liberties Careplus pharmacy when he entered the shop and pointed a 20cm knife at two women working there, Judge Martin Nolan said on Friday.

Bradley then shouted at the pharmacist to fill up his shopping bag with Valium tablets before he made off with the drugs and €250 in cash from the till, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard.

The pharmacist then followed Bradley back to a nearby apartment complex and alerted the gardaí to his whereabouts. Gardaí found Bradley in an apartment still in possession of the knife, cash and bag of tablets.

Bradley, with an address at Meath Street, Dublin, pleaded guilty to one count of robbing the pharmacy on April 13 last year.

He also pleaded guilty to burglary at a business premises on Fitzwilliam Street Lower two years earlier on April 15, 2018. He was on bail for this offence when he robbed the pharmacy, Garda Brian Gillane told the court.

In this incident, Bradley broke into an office via the fire escape during the night and “ransacked” the office, Garda Gillane said. He caused €100 worth of damage to a window but did not steal anything as there was no cash in the premises.

Bradley was arrested after his DNA was found on blood stains he left on the wall and windowsill of the premises.

The court heard Bradley has a high number of previous convictions, including 22 for burglary.

Luigi Rea BL, defending, said his client started taking drugs at the age of 14 and has struggled with addiction ever since.

Judge Nolan handed down a one-year sentence for the office burglary and a three-year sentence for the pharmacy robbery. He ordered both sentences to run consecutively.

“He's not very good at crime, he seems to get caught a lot,” the judge said.

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