Sunday 22 October 2017

Dublin man with 126 previous convictions robbed shop while on temporary release

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Ruaidhrí Giblin

A Dublin man with a “very bad record” has had his sentence for robbing a filling station while on temporary release from prison upheld by the Court of Appeal.

Michael McDonagh (29), of Carna Road, Ballyfermot, in Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery of Applegreen filling station in Ballyfermot on July 25, 2014.

He was sentenced to five years imprisonment with the final two suspended made consecutive to a term of three years with the final six months suspended by Judge Patricia Ryan on April 29, 2016.

McDonagh lost an appeal against his sentence today with the Court of Appeal unable to conclude that his sentence was excessive.

Giving background Mr Justice George Birmingham said the robbery was perpetrated by McDonagh and another person. The accomplice had direct contact with the staff member by putting a knife to the throat and threatening to slice.

The pair made off with €1,050, the judge said.

McDonagh was 26 years of age at the time and had 126 previous convictions by the time of sentencing. A probation report spoke of a long and entrenched alcohol and drug problem.

Counsel for McDonagh, Eoin Hardiman BL, submitted that the sentence was excessive and that the sentencing judge gave insufficient regard to the totality of the sentence as well as McDonagh's background of drug addiction and drug debt.

Mr Justice Birmingham said it was a very serious offence – a robbery involving an imitation firearm and the holding of a knife, by the accomplice, to the neck of a staff member.

It was committed by someone with a very bad record (McDonagh), committed while on bail and shortly after being granted temporary release from prison.

Mr Justice Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice Alan Mahon and Mr Justice John Edwards, said the court could not find any basis for concluding the sentence was excessive and dismissed the appeal.

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