A 21-year-old man who has been making progress in his rehabilitation and staying out trouble since he carried out a knifepoint robbery at a Centra store in Cork almost two years ago has been given a three-year suspended jail term.
Detective Garda Aonghus Cotter confirmed that Jeancy Kumanzembe of Belmont Court, Garryduff, Co Cork, had not come to the adverse attention of gardaí since the robbery on June 3, 2020, at Centra in Broadale, Douglas, Cork.
Judge Helen Boyle said she was concerned about the accused carrying a knife, which she described as a serious aggravating factor in this case.
The judge said it was one thing for the accused to say he did not intend to use the knife but she said if anything had gone wrong it might have been used in some unanticipated way.
The young man confessed to the robbery and the related charge of production of a knife in the course of the crime.
The accused entered the shop at 10.30pm at a time when the young man at the cash register had lodged the day's takings and was leaving cash floats in the tills.
“Jeancy Kumanzembe attempted to jump the counter but failed to do so due to screens on the counter,” the detective said.
The shop assistant was unable to get away from the position he was in behind the counter when the raider came around the side towards him while holding up a knife in front of his body.
He demanded the contents of both tills and got away with €650 in cash.
Kumanzembe went to leave via the front door but it had automatically locked so he returned to the shop assistant and demanded to be taken out by a back door.
Judge Boyle noted from a victim impact statement that the member of staff feared for his life at the time.
Sinead Behan, defence barrister, said: “The accused is living at the family home. He is now working. He had some learning and behavioural difficulties growing up.
“He has not come to Garda attention since this occurred.
“He made admissions. He had taken alcohol on the night in question. He is anxious to get himself a qualification, to steady himself up and move on.
“He might benefit from supervision and I would ask for a suspended sentence.”
Judge Boyle noted from the victim impact statement: “The injured party was never filled with such dread in all his life and he never felt as safe as he had felt before. By the defendant’s actions, he has altered the sense of safety this man had in his place of work.”