Sunday 24 June 2018

Man with no memory of robbing two Dublin shops jailed for one year

Glen Fitzpatrick (30) handed himself into a garda station in a distressed state after finding money he could not explain in his pockets

Glen Fitzpatrick (30), of Kilcarrig Green, Fettercairn, Tallaght, arrives at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today where he was jailed for one year. He pleaded guilty to robbery of Centra, Thomas Street on November 24, 2016. Pic Collins Courts.
Glen Fitzpatrick (30), of Kilcarrig Green, Fettercairn, Tallaght, arrives at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today where he was jailed for one year. He pleaded guilty to robbery of Centra, Thomas Street on November 24, 2016. Pic Collins Courts.

Fiona Ferguson

A man who “blacked out” after drink and drug binges and had no memory of robbing two shops has been jailed for one year.

Glen Fitzpatrick (30) handed himself into a garda station in a distressed state after finding money he could not explain in his pockets when he “came to his senses” after one of the binges.

Fitzpatrick was also identified by gardai on CCTV footage of the incidents. He was known to gardai in the area due to his work as a pizza delivery man in the locality.

Dublin Circuit Criminal heard Fitzpatrick had suffered severe domestic violence in childhood at the hands of his father and had consumed alcohol to black out his memories. He is now drug free.

Fitzpatrick, of Kilcarrig Green, Fettercairn, Tallaght, pleaded guilty to robbery of Centra, Thomas Street on November 24, 2016.

He also pleaded guilty to robbery at Dwarf Jar, Wellington Quay and attempted robbery at Centra, Wicklow Street on June 10, 2017.

He has 36 previous convictions, one for theft and the remainder for road traffic offences.

Judge Martin Nolan said Fitzpatrick had not changed his behaviour following the first incident and had gone on to re-offend when he should have been aware that if he had drink or drugs taken then he may commit crimes.

He imposed consecutive sentences totalling two years and suspended the final year on conditions.

Garda Brendan Kearns told Diarmuid Collins BL, prosecuting, that Fitzpatrick grabbed €420 from the cash register at Centra, Thomas Street when the shop assistant opened the till to give him change as he bought a scratch card.

Fitzpatrick was tackled by a customer who saw what was happening. They wrestled on the ground for a time before Fitzpatrick left and threatened the customer: “Is it worth your life, you c**t, is it worth your life?” The customer was left shaken, unsure if the threats were real.

Gardai were alerted and identified Fitzpatrick on CCTV. He was interviewed by arrangement and told gardai he had a drink and drug problem. He said he had been attempting to rehabilitate but had two slip ups, and this was one of them.

He said during his binges he either did stupid things or ended up in hospital. He apologised to the staff member and the customer who had tackled him.

Garda Padraig Keoghan said that in June 2017 a barrista was getting a customer's change from the till at a coffee shop on Wellington Quay when Fitzpatrick grabbed money and ran out.

Later at a Centra on Wicklow Street Fitzpatrick attempted to grab money from a till but was prevented from doing so and fled empty handed. He was identified in both cases on CCTV.

Fitzpatrick was arrested and interviewed. He said he had consumed cocaine, methadone, vodka and beers and had been walking around town out of his mind. He said he was disgusted with himself.

Gda Keoghan agreed with Derek Cooney BL, defending, that when Fitzpatrick “came to his senses” after the binge, he had found money in his pockets and gone to the Bridewell garda station in a distressed state. He knew he had got the money somewhere as he had not had it earlier.

The garda agreed Fitzpatrick was remorseful and was fully co-operative at all times.

Mr Cooney said Fitzpatrick and his mother had suffered “unmerciful” domestic violence at the hands of his father and he left home at 18 years old. He worked as an apprentice bricklayer but began consuming alcohol and then cocaine, occasionally going on binges where he “blacked out.”

He said his client's consumption of alcohol was to black out his memories of the domestic violence.

Counsel said Fitzpatrick was a completely different person when sober and has been attending rehabilitative courses at Coolmine. He is attending therapy and is drug free since August 2017.

He said his client had the total of €680 taken from the two shops in court. He asked that Fitzpatrick not be jailed as there were “exceptional underlying issues” so he could continue his rehabilitation.

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