Grandad who raided Permanent TSB with armed accomplice escapes jail sentence
A Dublin grandfather-of-two who raided a Permanent TSB office with an armed accomplice has escaped a jail sentence.
Garda Dan D’Arcy told the court that Joseph Prendergast (50) acted more as a look-out by the door as co-accused Paul Carabini (48) threatened staff and customers with a knife.
Prendergast, of Cappagh Drive, Finglas, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbing €3,500 from Permanent TSB, Phibsboro Road on November 16, 2012.
He has 59 previous convictions, including drugs possession and theft offences.
The court heard that Carabini, of Mellows Road, Finglas, received a ten year sentence with the final three suspended last February for the Permanent TSB robbery and for a string of other offences.
Judge Martin Nolan imposed a three and a half year suspended sentence on Prendergast, taking into account his partner’s medical difficulties and his lack of offending since 2012.
Gda D’Arcy told Paul Carroll BL, prosecuting, that Prendergast waited at the bank’s door, while Carabini demanded money.
A staff member jumped between Carabini and a colleague, who was in early pregnancy, when the raider held his knife to her stomach.
Two other witnesses followed the robbers out of the shop after they had taken the cash and saw them run down a nearby lane.
Gardai were alerted and blocked off the lane at both ends, while the raiders discarded clothing as they fled.
Gda D’Arcy said he arrested Prendergast, who claimed he had been mistakenly identified as a culprit and had just happened to have been in the lane.
DNA evidence obtained later tied Prendergast to the clothes and gloves found discarded in the lane.
Gda D’Arcy agreed with Luigi Rea BL, defending, that though his client, a former drug addict, had no formal education he had worked manual labour jobs through his life.
Counsel submitted to Judge Martin Nolan that his client was primary carer for his long term partner, who is seriously ill.
Dominic McGinn SC, defending, asked the judge to recognise the difference between Prendergast and Carabini in the scale of offending.