A MAN who had two children in his car when he took part in an attempted robbery was jailed for four years at Wicklow Circuit Court recently.
Christopher Heffernan (37), 2 Bellcamp Grove, Coolock, Dublin 17 pleaded guilty to the attempted robbery of the EBS, Church Road, Greystones on July 19, 2010.
The court heard that Heffernan entered the EBS with another person.
Employee Lorraine O'Reilly was working in the branch and saw two people approach the front door and buzzed them in.
As she did they came running in and started shouting. One man, not Heffernan, jumped over the counter shouting 'give me the money' and this man had a gun in his hand.
Ms. O'Reilly said the money was on a time lock and couldn't be accessed.
When she told the man this he said 'it's in the machine let's go' and both men ran out of the branch.
Ms. O'Reilly then pressed the panic button and the court heard no money was taken during the attempted robbery and the whole incident lasted about one minute.
Ms. O'Reilly said she was in fear for her life and the gun had been pointed at her during the robbery.
Defending counsel Mr. Lynch, BL, said Heffernan wasn't the instigator of the attempted robbery and although the children were in the car Heffernan had a loving relationship with his children.
He said the fact the children were in the car shows there was no premeditation to the robbery.
The court heard the death of Heffernan's father when Heffernan was 17 years old had had a 'very significant impact on him' and saw him turn to drugs.
Judge Michael O'Shea said Heffernan acted as a look out man during the attempted robbery. He said Heffernan's two children were in the get away car which was driven by the other man involved.
He said Heffernan had a difficult upbringing and was attempting to deal with his drug addiction.
However he said the attempted robbery was a serious offence.
He sentenced Heffernan to four years imprisonment which he back dated to May 16, 2011.