independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Addict is jailed for robbery at pizza takeaway

'NEEDED MONEY TO GET HOME'

A DRUG ADDICT living in Gorey has been jailed for robbing a Dublin pizzeria because he needed money to get back home after he had just been mugged himself.

Robert Chamberlain (29), with an address in Hazelwood, was in the midst of a relapse into drug use at the time but has since taken steps to address his addiction and described the incident as his ' biggest regret ever', Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard last week.

Detective Garda Damien Egan told Garret Baker BL, prosecuting, that Chamberlain had entered Apache Pizza on Bachelor's Walk in Dublin on July 18 last year. He held a syringe to the neck of a staff member and demanded money, before making off with approximately €100.

Chamberlain was tracked down after gardai viewed CCTV footage of the incident. He told gardai he could not remember what he was doing in Dublin that day.

He later said he had been drinking and taking drugs from early that morning. He told gardai he had been the victim of a robbery himself that day and beaten up.

Chamberlain said he had no phone or money and getting cash to get home had been his motivation. He said he was with 'some girl' and they were trying to work out a way of getting money.

Chamberlain said he thought he may have gotten a bus home to Gorey. He said that day had been his ' biggest regret ever.'

Det Gda Egan said Chamberlain was originally from Dublin but his family had moved to Wexford some years ago.

Det Gda Egan agreed with Elizabeth Davey BL, defending, that Chamberlain had not accrued any new charges and that he had apologised.

Ms Davey said Chamberlain's offending was directly related to drug use and this crime occurred after had relapsed into drug addiction in 2011.

She said he had been attending Wexford Substance Misuse Team since last November, had given clean urine samples for the last three months and had stabilized on methadone. She asked the court to consider a suspended sentence.

Judge Martin Nolan imposed a three year sentence but suspended the final 18 months.

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