A BRAY MAN who robbed a shoe with an imitation gun was jailed for three years last Wednesday.
Philip O'Hagan (31) with an address at 105 Westbourne Hotel, Quinsborough Road, Bray but who originally hails from Little Bray pleaded guilty to armed robbery at Shoe Zone, Quinsborough Road on February 24, 2012.
Garda Ger Carmody said that on the day in question Caoimhe Rice was working in the Shoe Zone when she noticed O'Hagan come into the shop just before 1pm. He caught her eye as he was wrapped up well. O'Hagan took a gun from his jeans and told her to open the till and give him the money.
Ms. Rice said the gun had a long silver barrel and was a handgun.
She initially thought he meant her to open the safe and moved to the back of the shop but said she didn't have the keys.
A mother and her daughter were at the back of the shop and Ms. Rice said ' he has a gun' and the woman said 'oh God'.
Ms. Rice then said she went to the till and opened it to give him the money and as she did she saw a uniformed guard walking past the shop but didn't know what to do.
O'Hagan then left the shop with €180 and she walked out behind it telling the people in the shop next door she had been robbed.
She then ran down the street after the guard and O'Hagan noticed her and started running too heading down a back lane close to Clancy's pub.
Garda Carmody pulled up in a garda car and followed O'Hagan to Westbourne Hotel where he attempted to dump the gun in the boiler room.
O'Hagan was arrested and the gun was recovered and was found to be an imitation fire arm.
During interview O'Hagan said, 'I done the robbery I might as well tell you'.
He said he had been involved in a car crash prior to the incident and hadn't any tax or insurance.
The other person involved in the crash told O'Hagan to get the money to pay for the damages and gave him the gun. O'Hagan said he knew the gun was deactivated. He told gardaí he had to rob the shop 'or I'd be riddled or my mam's house will be riddled'.
O'Hagan said, 'I'm sorry; I was in a bad position. I'd do it again if I had to' saying he regretted that the people in the shop were scared.
Under cross-examination from Justin McQuade, BL, for O'Hagan Garda Carmody agreed O'Hagan was ' the black sheep of his family' and that he lived in 'poor conditions and some squalor'.
In his own evidence O'Hagan said he had been in custody since February 24 and had been offered a place in Coolmine Treatment Centre.
He said he is on methadone but said he had reduced from 90mg to 7mg.
He said he was battling a serious drug addiction and had 'wasted many years because of his addiction'.
He said he had great support from his family and while there had been some slips he wanted to get drug free.
Judge Michael O'Shea said it 'appears to be a spontaneous robbery' but said it was 'frightening to the extreme'.
He said that while the gun was an intimation gun Ms. Rice 'didn't know that and to all intents and purposes she thought it was a real gun'.
He imposed a three years sentence which he back dated to February 24, 2012.