Sunday 22 September 2019

Two years behind bars for teenaged armed robber


A 19-YEAR-OLD Wellingtonbridge man who robbed a shop of guns which he later used in the armed robbery of a fast food premises has been sentenced to two years behind bars - and his mother says she will give up on him if he commits crime again after he is let out.

John Murphy, of Ballyowen, Wellingtonbridge, pleaded guilty at Wexford Circuit Court last week to robbing more than €9,000 worth of goods from Hamilton's shop at 53 North Main Street in Wexford on the night of October 27/28 last year, and to robbing €600 at the nearby Abrakebabra takeaway on October 28.

Detective Garda Brian Cummins told the court that Murphy and another person got into Hamilton's shop through a rear entry, and filled black plastic bags with items including rifles, pellet guns, a laptop, pen knives, mobile phones, and cigarette lighters, to a total value of €9,222.

They then went to Abrakebabra on North Main Street, where they held up staff with a gun, and demanded money from staff member Nicola Duffin. They got away with some €600. The money was later recovered, as were the items taken from Hamilton's shop, although many of them were stained and damaged.

Detective Garda Cummins also told how Murphy already had 21 previous convictions, while his accomplice in the crimes had already been sentenced to 18 months for each of the robberies, with those terms to run concurrently.

Defence counsel, Mr Aidan Doyle, submitted that the crimes were 'poorly executed' as the defendant's were caught thanks to CCTV footage.

The defendant's mother, Pauline Murphy, said she had taken the other youth into her home after she took pity on him, but from then on, her son John started to get into trouble because of drugs and drink. She said he needs supervision, which she is prepared to provide after he is released, and she also hoped that he could get work on fishing boats when he is free again.

'But if he goes down the bad road again, I'm not going to stand by him. He will be lost,' she added. 'He has to prove himself to me and also to his girlfriend.'

Mr Doyle said the reports before the court all indicated that drugs and drink were factors in the crime. The defendant got involved in a spate of crime at a young age, he said, and all the previous offences had occurred in a very short period.

Judge Alice Doyle said the youth would need a lot of care, attention and supervision after his release from custody. She sentenced him to two years in St. Patrick's Institution for one of the offences, with the final six months suspended, and 18 months for the other offence, again with six months suspended.

The terms are to run concurrently.

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