A MAN who took part in an attempted robbery of a post office with three other men ten days after his doctor diagnosed him with heart problems has been jailed.
Philip Kerfoot (41) and the other three men were foiled by waiting gardai following a six week long surveillance operation.
David Atkinson (43) and his nephew Gerard Carey (35) were caught red-handed on the roof of the post office wearing balaclavas and gloves. They were armed with an imitation firearm, hammer, crow bar, torch and radio scanner tuned into garda frequencies.
Atkinson’s son Dwayne Stacey (25) was parked nearby in a blue Renault Scenic along with Kerfoot.
Kerfoot of Captain’s Road, Crumlin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to conspiring with the others to commit robbery of a Post Office on Lower Drumcondra Road on October 16, 2009.
Judge Martin Nolan imposed a jail term of four years and three months on Kerfoot, who has 64 previous convictions dating back to 1985.
Kerfoot’s three accomplices, all with addresses at Windmill Park, Crumlin, pleaded guilty to the same offence earlier this week and were jailed for a total of ten and a half years by Judge Nolan.
Detective Garda Des Byrne told Dominic McGinn SC, prosecuting, that gardai had all four men under surveillance for six weeks.
Officers had gathered such a significant level of intelligence that staff were advised not to come to work that day and the post mistress had supplied gardai in Fitzgibbon Street with the keys to the building.
Garda units were placed in the general area that morning and officers entered the post office after the expected raid did not take place.
Gardai then noted that a large hole had been drilled into the roof above a suspended ceiling after access was gained to vacant premises directly above the post office. It was then that Carey and Atkinson were spotted coming out of this first floor building wearing balaclavas and gloves.
Carey had a cigarette lighter which was a realistic imitation of a Smith and Weston revolver in the waistband of his trousers.
He also had a red hold all bag which contained a hammer, a crow bar, a torch, masking tape and a radio scanner tuned to local garda frequencies.
The court heard that Kerfoot’s criminal record includes burglary, drug dealing, robbery and firearms offences.
Aileen Donnelly SC, defending, said her client was diagnosed with cardio-vascular problems ten days before the attempted post office raid.
She said he had spent time in state institutions as a young man and that he was a product of this.