Sunday 20 October 2019

Drug addict who robbed fast food outlet had been mugged earlier

Fiona Ferguson

A DRUG addict has been jailed after robbing a fast food restaurant because he needed money to get home after he had just been mugged himself.

Robert Chamberlain (29) 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.”

Chamberlain of Hazelwood, Gorey pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery of Apace Pizza, Bachelors Walk on July 18, 2011. He has 17 previous convictions.

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

Detective Garda Damien Egan told Garret Baker BL, prosecuting, that Chamberlain had entered the restaurant and demanded money from a staff member, who had a syringe held to his neck, before making his escape with approximately €100.

The staff member had also noted a female outside who indicted she had a knife although he never saw a knife.

Chamberlain was nominated as a suspect after gardai viewed CCTV. 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 and expressed remorse.

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 urines for the last three months and had stabilized on methadone.

She said he was dedicated to rehabilitation and asked the court to consider a suspended sentence to allow him continue down this route.

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