Friday 22 November 2019

Man (50) who robbed petrol station while armed with meat thermometer jailed

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

Isabel Hayes

A man who robbed a petrol station while armed with a meat thermometer has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Stephen Doherty (50) was high on heroin when he robbed €200 cash from an Applegreen service station at Baldoyle, Dublin, before accosting a woman outside the station and trying to rob her too, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard today.

He later told gardaí he carried out the robbery to help pay for his mother's funeral.

Doherty, with an address in Blakestown Road, Mulhuddart, Dublin, pleaded guilty to one count of robbery and one count of attempted robbery at the station on October 31 last year.

Garda Marie Geraghty told John Fitzgerald BL, prosecuting, that a worker was behind the till around 4pm on the day in question when Doherty approached him and calmly said: “I know the camera is on me and I know about the button at your leg, so don't be pressing anything.”

The worker saw Doherty was holding what he initially thought was an ice pick, but which was later discovered to be a meat thermometer.

Doherty brandished the thermometer and ordered the man to open the till, telling him: “Don't do anything stupid or I'll kill you.”

The court heard the worker was in fear for his life and handed over the cash before Doherty left the store.

Outside the petrol station, he encountered a woman and accosted her in an apparent attempt to rob her too. She managed to get away from him.

Gardaí were called and Doherty was arrested shortly afterwards. He has 62 previous convictions, including theft, burglary and misuse of drugs.

Defence barrister, Eoin Hardiman BL, said his client had struggled with a heroin addiction since he was a young man. He said he managed to successfully detox in 2010 but had occasionally relapsed since then.

Mr Hardiman said his client's mother died some time before the offence and he was the only member of his family unable to contribute to the funeral costs. Doherty said he carried out the robbery in an attempt to get money to pay for the funeral.

Judge Martin Nolan handed down a sentence of two-and-a-half years and backdated it to last October, when Doherty first went into custody.

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