Saturday 20 January 2018

Convicted killer due to be sentenced for armed post office robbery tells court it will be 'the last of his offending behaviour'

The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

Conor Gallagher

A convicted killer and armed robber who is due to be sentenced for robbery of a post office while armed with a axe has told a court that this will be “the last of his offending behaviour.”

Kenneth Wilson (46) of Deansrath Road, Clondalkin, Dublin has 18 previous convictions including manslaughter, armed robbery and a charge of possession of firearms for which he was sentenced to ten years.

In 1999 he was jailed for five years for his role in the killing of Patrick Joseph Craig, a father of six, in 1992. Wilson was one of two masked men who burst into Mr Craig's home and shot him as he lay in bed. The court heard Wilson did not intend to cause serious harm and was under the influence of his co-accused at the time. Mr Justice Paul Carney called it a “a brutal and vicious assassination."

Today Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that in November 2012 Wilson and two other men entered the Bawnogue Post Office. Wilson was armed with an axe while the other men had a crowbar and imitation handgun.

The men began to break down the security glass with their weapons while two staff members, including Louise Thunder who was four months pregnant, locked themselves in the bathroom. The men took over €7,000 from the registers before fleeing in a blue BMW.

The car was spotted near Deansrath Lawns with Wilson running away from it. When he saw gardaí he slowed to a walk and went into a house. Gardaí followed him in and found him sitting on a stool and out of breath.

Wilson claimed he had been there all morning and that he had just let a man in who climbed over the back wall. He was arrested and interviewed ten times but refused to make admissions. Only a small amount of the money was recovered.

Wilson later pleaded guilty to robbery at Bawnogue Post Office on November 28, 2012.

In a short victim impact report, Ms Thunder said she feared she might lose her unborn child because of the trauma.

Defence counsel Padraig Dwyer SC told Judge Sarah Berkeley that Wilson “sees this as the last of his offending behaviour”. He said he was now looking for work and that he was at a low risk of re-offending.

Counsel asked Judge Berkeley to consider that one of Wilson's co-accused received a suspended sentence for his role. However the judge noted this person was 20 years old and had no previous convictions.

Judge Berkeley ordered a probation report and remanded Wilson in custody until April 15, 2016.

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