Monday 27 February 2017

Man admits staging robbery over 'Thai sex-tape blackmail'

Niamh O'Donoghue

A man staged a robbery on his employers because he was being blackmailed by a woman he met in Thailand who had videotaped them having sex, a court heard yesterday.

The man was given a three-year suspended sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Thomas McDermott (27), of Rockmarshall, Jenkinstown, Dundalk, Co Louth, pleaded guilty to the theft of €58,092 cash and €1,605 worth of cheques from his employer, Woodies DIY.

The court heard McDermott staged the raid on the Malahide Road branch in Coolock, Dublin, on June 17, 2009, with another man he met in a nearby pub. His co-accused has not been arraigned yet in relation to the incident.

The defence said her client staged the robbery because he was being blackmailed by a lady he had met in Thailand and who had videotaped them having sex.

Ms Rowland told Judge Patrick McCartan that McDermott was to send this woman a minimum of €500 a month.

Garda Shay McGrath said McDermott told him a man charged into him and knocked him to the ground, a knife was held to his throat and he then turned off the alarm.

He told gardai he was hit twice and was knocked out after he took money out of the safe.

But after examining CCTV Gda McGrath said McDermott didn't set the alarm, the premises was not locked and the video footage showed the co-accused carrying a hold-all bag with the suspect calmly entering through a side-door.

A warrant was obtained to search his house and McDermott said there would be money in the attic from the robbery. He told gardai: "There should be €27,000 from the Woodie's DIY theft."

He then admitted he was tied up but that it was staged and his accomplice had the remainder of the money.

Gda McGrath said the €27,000 was recovered but the remainder was outstanding. He also told the court that McDermott had no previous convictions.

Irish Independent

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