School rugby star jailed for knife robbery
A former Blackrock College rugby player who lured a London art dealer to Dublin and robbed him of £12,500 (€14,400) at knifepoint has received a three-year jail sentence.
Jamie Conway (28) later told gardai he robbed the cash and fled the country so he could repay part of a debt in America.
The court heard that Conway, of Knocknashee, Goatstown, pleaded guilty to robbing Mark Adams of £12,500 cash and a driver's licence on May 21, 2007.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Conway first contacted Mr Adams by email in July 2006 to offer the sale of a £250,000 (€290,000) Walter Osborne painting. Adams viewed the painting in Dublin.
Conway wanted 5pc of the painting's £250,000 value in advance, the court heard. The painting had belonged to Conway's parents.
Mr Adams travelled back to Dublin in 2007 to collect the painting and hand over £12,500.
He arrived at the Foxrock address Conway gave him but found it up for sale with no cars in the drive. Mr Adams rang Conway and went to a new address on Brighton Road, Foxrock. Conway ambushed him as he crossed the road.
He spun him around to face the hedging and pulled out a 18-inch kitchen knife. He demanded the money and threatened Mr Adams, he court heard.
He fled Ireland soon after the robbery and was jailed after he was caught with 400 ecstasy pills in Las Vegas, in 2007.
Conway escaped arrest until he was deported from America in October 2009. He made full admissions to the robbery after his arrest at Dublin Airport.
Judge Katherine Delahunt said the robbery was "vicious and well planned" but the guilty plea greatly assisted Mr Adams. She suspended the final 12 months of Conway's sentence.
The court heard Conway came from a good family and was an "outstanding" athlete in Blackrock College, where he excelled at rugby.