CARNEW man Michael Berry, who was found guilty of the theft of €205,000 in an ATM raid in Enniscorthy, was jailed for six years in a sentencing hearing at Wexford Circuit Criminal Court last week.
The jury had returned a guilty verdict following a six-week trial before Judge Barry Hickson at Wexford Circuit Criminal Court last November.
35-year-old Berry, of 2 Hillview, Carnew, had been found guilty of the theft of an ATM from the Maxol Service Station at Bellefield Road, Enniscorthy, on July 24, 2009. He was also found guilty of the theft of €205,100 in cash from the machine, and of four other related charges: the theft of a vehicle, the theft of a trailer, the burglary of car keys, and damage to the Maxol Service Station premises.
Prosecuting Counsel, Patrick Treacy told Wexford Circuit Criminal Court last Wednesday that Berry had been unanimously convicted by a jury on six counts on November 23 last year.
He said that the Ulster Bank ATM had been forcibly removed, resulting in €44,303 in criminal damage to the premises.
Det. Sergeant Derek Hughes outlined details of the offences in the lead-up to the ATM raid. He said that following the theft the ATM was brought to a premises in Staplestown in Carlow. The ATM was cut open, and Michael Berry divided out the money among the gang of four. None of the cash was recovered and the vehicle was later burned out in Rathoe, Co. Carlow.
He said that the defendant, had ten previous convictions and had previously served two terms of two years in prison relating to other matters. On the matter now before the court, Berry had been in custody since July 13, 2011.
Defence Counsel Tony Sammon told the court that he had been asked by Michael Berry not to make any case of mitigation for fear that it may be used against him in future. He also said that while the trial process was lengthy, certain steps had been taken by the defendant that shortened the length of the trial.
Describing it as a very serious offence, Judge Barry Hickson said that the four people involved were equally culpapable in carrying out this 'very daring and planned raid with military precision'. He pointed out that the service station at Bellefield Road was deliberately targeted, and that the raid it required great organisation and assistance from all of the four people involved.
Judge Hickson imposed a six-year prison sentence, backdated to July 13, 2011, for the ATM raid. He imposed a further six-year term on the charge of criminal damage to the property. Berry was given three years in jail on the burglary offence; three years for the unauthorised taking of motor vehicle; and a further two three-year terms of imprisonment in relation to theft.
All of the sentences are to run concurrently, with the final six months suspended for two years in respect of the ATM and damage to property sentences.