Sunday 23 October 2016

Drug addict who tried to rob shop directly opposite Tallaght Garda station jailed

Fiona Ferguson

Published 17/12/2015 | 15:57

Tallaght Garda Station
Tallaght Garda Station

A drug addict who tried to rob a shop directly opposite Tallaght Garda station has been given a two and a half year sentence.

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Jason O'Connor (41) was on a suspended portion of a previous sentence at the time for attempting to rob the same shop in similar circumstances two years earlier.

Defence counsel, Sarah Jane O'Callaghan BL, described O'Connor, who has mental health and drug addiction issues, as “institutionalised” and said he had been hoping to get caught. He has 12 previous convictions.

O'Connor, of Glenshane Drive, Tallaght, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to attempted robbery at Costless Ltd, Plaza Retail Complex, Tallaght on July 7, 2015.

Judge Martin Nolan imposed a two and a half year sentence with the final year suspended on strict conditions including supervision by the Probation Service on his release.

Garda Michael McGrath told Martina Baxter BL, prosecuting, that O'Connor had been in the shop earlier that afternoon looking for a coke and returned about 4.30pm with the same request.

He then approached the counter with an empty glass bottle and banged it on the till in an attempt to smash it. He shouted: “Give me the money” and again tried to smash the bottle.

O'Connor was restrained by staff and gardai were alerted. He was arrested and brought across the road to be interviewed.

He made admissions and told gardai he was sorry. He said he had been smoking “a small bit of weed” and gardai discovered cannabis valued at €250 on him.

Gda McGrath agreed with Sarah Jane O'Callaghan BL, defending, that O'Connor had mentioned on both occasions he attempted to rob the shop that he had heard voices telling him to do it.

He agreed that O'Connor was almost institutionalised and wanted to be caught.

Ms O'Callaghan said O'Connor had significant mental health and drug addiction problems. She said he had spent time in psychiatric institutions and needed to be assessed for a learning disability.

She said he was happy in custody at the moment and excelled in a prison regime. She said he had a traumatic background with no stability in his life and asked the court to give him some hope.

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