A NEWTOWNMOUNTKENNEDY man who robbed a chemist shop in Roundwood with a claw hammer received a four-year prison sentence at last Wednesday's sitting of Wicklow Circuit Court.
The court heard evidence from Garda Donal O'Sullivan who said that Joseph Daly (33), 49 Sycamore Drive, Newtownmountkennedy was one of two men who entered Roundwood Pharmacy on October 9, 2010, at around 4.30pm.
There were three employees in the chemist including the owner Jonathan Harty.
Led by state prosecutor Paul Murray, BL, Garda O'Sullivan said the two men entered the chemist forcing an exiting customer back into the shop.
Daly had a blue balaclava on him and was shouting.
The second man demanded tablets – Dalmane, Valium and Zimovane which are sleeping tablets and anxiety drugs.
Daly was at the till and had a claw hammer in his right hand but didn't use it.
Garda O'Sullivan said Daly had become agitated with the other two staff members had difficulty opening the till but it was opened soon after.
After taking cash from the till both men left the store and Mr. Harty pushed the panic button.
The court heard approximately €380 was stolen and €25 worth of medication.
When arrested Daly admitted the offence saying he had committed the robbery because he 'was strung out on drugs'.
Garda O'Sullivan said Daly had been addicted to drugs for a long number of years having started taking drugs at an early age.
The court heard Daly had a number of previous convictions and is currently serving a sentence. He is due for release on June 3, 2012.
For Daly, defending counsel Lorcan Staines, BL, said Daly is in a long-term relationship and the father of two.
'His lifestyle has been very chaotic for a large number of years,' he said.
He said Daly had used various drugs including cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and had become addicted to heroin in Mountjoy.
He said Daly was born and raised in Newtownmountkennedy.
At the age of 12, Daly got involved in anti social behaviour and was sent first to Oberstown then Trinity House before ending up in St. Patrick's Institution.
Mr. Staines, BL, said Daly had poor literacy skills and said, ' This is the first time he has made an effort to maintain a drug-free status,' adding Daly is now completely drug free having successfully completed a methadone programme.
He is also undertaking an anger management course in Wheatfield Prison.
Mr. Staines said, 'No doubt it was very frightening but there was no actual violence and they suffered no adverse effects.'
Judge Michael O'Shea said, ' This was a serious offence and was carried out in an aggressive and intimating manner.'
He said Daly had been in custody in respect of this matter since May 16, 2011.
Judge O'Shea imposed a four-year sentence which he back dated to May 16, 2011.