A KEY member of a notorious drugs gang who carried out a €1.2m jewellery heist has been jailed for 10 years.
Ian Maloney (24) received the sentence yesterday for the robbery of Paul Sheeran Jewellers, in Dundrum Town Centre, Co Dublin, on September 3, 2008.
Maloney is understood to be a key associate of the notorious Dublin gang boss Freddie Thompson.
His gang is heavily involved in the supply of drugs to the capital and is believed to be responsible for numerous murders in an ongoing inner-city feud.
Yesterday, the court heard how the store found it difficult to continue trading after the robbery by Maloney and later closed.
Judge Gerard Griffin said he had to take into account the fear the staff were put in and the amount stolen. He sentenced Maloney to 12 years with the final two suspended.
He also backdated the sentence to when Maloney went into custody last year.
Maloney, of Cashel Road, Crumlin, Dublin, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery, possession of a 12-gauge shotgun and possession of a sawn-off shotgun.
He entered a guilty plea to the robbery charge on day six of his trial, which was accepted by the State. The prosecution did not proceed with the weapons possession counts.
Garda Nigel Burke told prosecuting counsel that Maloney and another man had entered the store at around 8.10pm.
Maloney was armed with a sawn-off shotgun and ordered staff and customers against the back wall. He said to them: "Don't worry, nobody's going to get hurt."
One staff member later told gardai his voice seemed young, nervous and non-threatening.
The other man used a crowbar to prise open a cabinet and empty its contents into a bag. Both then escaped through a nearby fire escape and fled the scene in a stolen red Subaru.
The car was found by gardai a short time later with the gun and builders' outfits inside.
Investigations led gardai to Maloney, and a search of his house revealed the keys to the stolen car.
He was arrested on September 15 and interviewed four times, but refused to assist gardai. An identification parade was held and three people who were present in the shop pointed out Maloney as one of the raiders.
Gda Burke said the jewellery was never recovered and the store found it difficult to continue trading after the loss. When the recession started, it was forced to close.
Maloney had 71 previous convictions, all for more minor matters which were dealt with in the District Court.