A ROBBER who "ranks amongst the all-time stupidest criminals to come before the courts" has been jailed for a botched armed robbery where the raiders had to be rescued by the fire brigade.
Gary Byrne (30) left the scene of the robbery -- a gold storage business -- with keys to the safe, locking the shutters behind him.
His two accomplices Ian Jordan (33) and Aidan Murphy (32) were trapped inside with two staff members who had been bound and gagged during the raid.
Byrne, of Edenmore Crescent, Raheny, Dublin, was convicted by a Dublin Circuit Criminal Court jury last month following an eight-day trial.
Yesterday he was sentenced to seven years in prison after he was found guilty of attempted robbery, possession of an imitation firearm and false imprisonment at the Bullion Room, Bolton Street, Dublin, on August 10, 2010. Byrne had denied all the charges.
Jordan of Belclare Grove, Ballymun, Dublin, and Murphy of Stag Park Avenue, Mitchelstown, Co Cork, were each jailed for five years by Judge Martin Nolan earlier this year after they pleaded guilty to the same offences.
Judge Donagh McDonagh described it as "one of the most farcical cases in recent criminal history in Dublin" and said Byrne "ranks amongst the all-time stupidest criminals to come before the courts".
He said he would give him the "benefit of his stupidity" and suspended the final two years of the sentence, acknowledging that Byrne, with a previous conviction for assault, was "not a hardened criminal".
"It was a well researched but indifferently planned operation. They knew the business owner's schedule well and raided her premises at the most vulnerable time," Judge McDonagh said.