Friday 20 September 2019

'Dangerous man' threatened staff at pharmacy and filling station with a knife

A 20-year-old Wexford town man who pleaded guilty to a charge of robbery and attempted robbery was, in the words of Judge Barry Hickson 'a dangerous man'.

Wexford Circuit Criminal Court was told that the defendant entered a Wexford town filling station brandishing a knife during an attempted robbery, while on a separate occasion he robbed a Fethard-on-Sea Pharmacy while also wielding a knife.

Before the court was Ross Nolan, of 18 Radharc na Mara, Coolcotts, who pleaded guilty to the attempted robbery of Boggan's Filling Station at Carriglawn, Wexford, on November 16, 2015. He also pleaded guilty to the robbery of the pharmacy in Fethard-on-Sea on November 14, 2015, where he stole €600 from the till.

Garda Eric Barry told the court that the robbery on the Fethard-on-Sea Pharmacy was carried out at 12.50 p.m. when the defendant, who was alone, entered the premises brandishing a knife, stealing €600 from the till. At the time of the robbery there were a number of customers and staff on the premises. In their investigations, Gardai examined CCTV footage and took witness statements.

Garda Barry said they received enough investigation to establish that Ross Nolan from Wexford town had been living in the area for a while. On November 17, 2015, he was arrested and conveyed to New Ross Garda Station.

Garda Barry also stold the court that during the course of the execution of the search warrant various items of clothing which matched those worn by the defendant during the robbery were located. He said that none of the money was recovered.

The defendant, the Garda said, had a chronic alcohol problem. He put forward the explanation that he owed €750 for drugs which he had partially paid.

In relation to the attempted robbery outside Wexford town, Garda Barry said that at approximately 9 p.m. on the date, the defendant entered Boggans Service Station and threatened a female member of staff. The lady could not make the till open and ran to the rear of the shop. hen the defendant was arrested on the other matter he admitted to the attempted robbery at Boggan's. He fitted the description perfectly, while CCTV footage was also available.

Garda Barry said that when the female member of staff greeted the defendant on arrival in the shop he produced a knife demanding money. He did not hurt hurt her physically but she was left mentally distraught. Following the incident she could not go to the shop anymore or go places on her own as she believed this man was going to kill her.

'I have suffered and my family have suffered. My family do not want to see me crying anymore. I look to my children and I want to get stronger for them,' she said in a victim impact statement.

Defence Counsel, Grainne Foley, said that in relation to the Fethard-on-Sea robbery the defendant was carrying a drugs debt of €750, He wanted to apologise to everyone in the shop. He is a 20-year-old man with a good family support structure in place.

He started out smoking cannabis, and went on to other substances when he fell into a bad crowd, said Ms Foley.

He has a 2-year-old son who he has not been seeing. He left school on completion of his Junior Certificate, falling into a bad crowd from where it all escalated. He is now clean for nine months, the longest he has ever been, and is adamant he wants to turn his life around. He is very welcome back into the family home.

She said that Nolan has not a huge work history. From the Probation and Welfare report, he is at the high risk of re-offending, but that is something he must deal with.

Ms Foley told the court that on the night of the offence in Boggans Service Station, the defendant had smoken heroin beforehand. He had been serving a sentence which expired on July 7 this year but he has been in custody on theses charges since November 19, 2015.

Judge Hickson said when the defendant carried out these offences, Ross Nolan was a dangerous individual, whose actions had no doubt impacted on people, leaving them traumatised. He is a dangerous man who carried a knife on to both premise, having taken heroin.

On the robbery charge, Judge Hickson said he would impose a three-year prison sentence to be backdated for three months from the time he was taken into custody. He also imposed a suspended three-year sentence for attempted robbery, to run concurrently, on Nolan entering a bond of €100 for a period of three years, to be entered into on his release from prison.

Wexford People