'Love/Hate' actor gets four years in jail for robbery
The creator of 'Love/Hate', Stuart Carolan, was among a number of high-profile names who provided character references for an actor who was jailed for four-and-a-half years for armed robbery.
Stephen Clinch, who played the character 'Noely' in the RTÉ series, held a loaded semi-automatic pistol to the head of a security worker collecting overnight cash from a bar.
Clinch (49) of Millbrook Grove, Kilbarrack, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of a firearm with intention to commit robbery and to robbery of €50,730 at The Gate Hotel, Parnell Street, Dublin, on May 11, 2015.
Character referees included - in addition to Mr Carolan - singer Damien Dempsey and film director Mark O'Connor. They variously described Clinch as a friendly and reliable worker who had given back to his local community.
The court heard Clinch had a history of an underlying heroin addiction. His previous convictions include 17 robbery and 13 burglary offences. These date up to 2004 and he has had no serious convictions recorded until this robbery. Clinch told gardaí after his arrest: "I thought I had my life back on track."
One victim of the hold-up, Diraj Boodho, a cellarman responsible for lodging the takings of the hotel bar, told the court the ordeal had left him afraid to leave the house. "I could have been murdered," he said.