Monday 11 December 2017

Man with €100 a day crack cocaine habit avoids jail for robbing shop

Declan Brennan

A MAN with a €100 a day crack cocaine habit has avoided jail for robbing a shop at knife point.

Mark Burke (34) of York street, Dublin 2 pleaded guilty to robbery at Costcutters shop, Aungier Street, and to attempted robbery at a Spar shop on Bertram Court, Cornmarket, both on March 3, 2011.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard the two offences were carried out while Burke was serving a suspended sentence for a charge of arson.

Garda Sean Behan told Ronan Kennedy BL, prosecuting, that Burke walked into the Costcutters shop and, after showing a five inch knife to the “terrified” shop worker, said he wanted the money. Burke then grabbed a total of €180 from the cash register.

After this robbery Burke walked into another convenience shop and again showed the knife to a man at the checkout, who was “terrified for his life”. The man pressed the panic button and his co-workers came from behind Burke and overpowered him.

Gda Behan said when Burke was arrested he was highly intoxicated and admitted he had been drinking and smoking crack cocaine that day.

He told Gardai he carried out the earlier robbery because he needed money to buy crack cocaine. The court hear that Burke spent up to €100 a day on the drug.

Gda Behan told Colm O’Briain BL, defending, that Burke had been very remorseful and “very placid” the next day.

Burke is in custody on another offence and Judge Patricia Ryan noted he has been doing well in prison. She imposed a three year suspended term.

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