Saturday 23 September 2017

Man held knife to pregnant woman's stomach during one of six robberies, court told

Criminal Courts of Justice
Criminal Courts of Justice

Nicola Donnelly

A robber described as a “menace to society who caused fear and terror” when he held up six Dublin businesses armed with a knife has been jailed for ten years with three suspended.

In one robbery Paul Carabini (48) held a knife to a pregnant bank worker’s stomach while demanding cash to feed his drug habit.

And during an attempted robbery at a McDonald’s restaurant, the Dublin man held a knife at a staff member while a number of children were on the premises.

Carabini of Mellows Road, Finglas and formerly of Carnlough Road, Cabra pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the robbery of €3,050 at Permanent TSC in Phibsboro on November 16, 2012.

He also pleaded guilty to robbing €300 from Mr Sims Shop on Dame Street on June 13, 2013 and robbery of €280 and four boxes of shoes from Shoe Rack on Wicklow Street on December 4, 2013.

Carabini further pleaded guilty to attempted robbery at Hamilton Pharmacy on O’Connell Street and Dowling’s Pharmacy on Lower Baggot Street on June 21, 2013 and attempted robbery at McDonalds in Phibsboro on September 4, 2014.

Judge Martin Nolan remarked that Carabini is “quite old to be committing these offences” and that he has “become a menace to society who caused fear and terror.”

Carabini burst through the front door of the Permanent TSB in Phibsboro armed with a steak knife.

He jumped across the counter and shouted ‘hands up’ to staff before approaching a female bank worker, who was in the early stages of her pregnancy.

He held the knife to the bank worker’s stomach before demanding €10,000. He managed to grab €3,050 and left the bank. Customers helped gardai to identify Carabini and DNA samples from a jacket and knife linked him to the robbery.

Garda Gary Molloy agreed with Michael Bowman BL, defending, that Carabini did not know the bank worker was in the early stages of pregnancy.

He told prosecuting counsel Paul Carroll BL, that the woman was traumatised after the robbery and had to change positions within in the company.

Gda Kieran O’Sullivan told the court that Carabini entered Mr Sims shop on Dame Street at around 5.30pm on June 21, 2013 wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap.

He held a large jagged knife the 19-year-old shop worker’s torso before demanding cash. He got away with €300.

The court also heard that Carabini attempted to rob two pharmacies in the one day in Dublin city centre using knives but did not manage to get any money.

While robbing The Shoe Rack on Wicklow Street on December 4, 2013, Carabini pretended to have a gun wrapped inside a newspaper and threatened staff that he would “blast your fucking legs off”.

Two off-duty gardai managed to catch Carabini and they recovered the money and four pairs of shoes.

Carabini went into McDonald’s in Phibsboro armed with a knife on September 4, 2014 at lunch time and made a beeline for a staff member.

He swiped the knife in front of the worker before demanding money. He pinned the worker up against a fridge and ran out of the restaurant without any money as he believed the alarm had been set off.

Gda Dunne said the restaurant had a number of people in it including children. Carabini jumped on a bus but got off it near the Royal Canal where he was arrested by gardai.

Mr Bowman said Carabini, who has 21 previous convictions, has had no formal education.  He became addicted to heroin at the age of 16.

Counsel said: “In his 35 years of being a drug addict, he has never had the opportunity to go into full-time residential treatment.”

“He has a history of disturbing and distressing incidents over an 18 month period, using an implement and causing terror among staff.”

“He does understand his actions have consequences and he is very unlikely going to be the same man who walks out of prison in a number of years time,” said Mr Bowman.

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