Tuesday 21 November 2017

Man held blade to pregnant woman's stomach during botched robbery, court hears

Stock picture
Stock picture

Isabel Hayes

A man held a blade to a pregnant woman's stomach during the botched robbery of a flower shop, a Dublin court has heard.

Andrew Cash (26), of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted robbery of a shop on Aungier Street in Dublin on November 26, 2015.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard today that Cash pointed a Stanley blade at his pregnant victim's stomach before she managed to overcome him and pushed and kicked him out the door of her florist shop.

Detective Garda Conor O'Byrne told John Fitzgerald BL, prosecuting, that Cash entered the florist's around 6.30pm on the day in question and appeared to be surveying the place.

When approached by the pregnant shop owner and asked to leave, Cash produced a Stanley blade and pointed it at the woman's stomach. The woman noticed Cash appeared to be “out of it” on drugs and she grabbed his arm, moving the blade away from her stomach.

She then pushed him out of the nearby door, levelling a kick at him as he exited.

The blade fell to the floor during the altercation and was shown in court by Det Gda O'Byrne.

Gardaí immediately recognised Cash from CCTV footage taken in the shop and a few months later. He was arrested in Cloverhill prison where he was serving a sentence for another offence.

He has 50 previous convictions, including criminal damage, burglary, attempted robbery, possession of a knife, theft and assault.

Cash told gardaí he was “stoned” on the day in question and went into the florist's to get some money. He said he could not remember much of the offence but he identified himself in the CCTV footage.

James Dwyer BL, defending, said the attempted robbery was clearly not “sophisticated” or even planned. He said Cash was under the influence of drugs at the time and his victim showed “fortitude” in her handling of the event.

The entire altercation between Cash and his victim lasted about 10 seconds, the court heard.

Det Gda O'Byrne agreed that Cash was not a “difficult” person. “He puts his hand up when he's caught,” he said.

Mr Dwyer said his client had a difficult childhood, with offending behaviour dating back to his teens. He had “educational and employment deficits” and has been homeless for a number of years.

“He has drifted in and out of prison for similar offences,” Mr Dwyer said.

He told the court Cash has recently reunited with the mother of his seven-year-old child and has been told he is welcome to live with them in Cavan upon his release from custody.

Judge Karen O'Connor adjourned the matter to get a probation report, noting it was a very serious offence in which a blade was held at the stomach of a pregnant woman.

“One can only imagine the fear she must have felt at the time,” the judge said. She remanded Cash in continuing custody until sentencing on December 21.

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