Monday 18 December 2017

Masked man robbed pharmacy at knifepoint minutes after asking about aftershave

Criminal Courts of Justice (CCJ) Dublin
Criminal Courts of Justice (CCJ) Dublin

Conor Gallagher

A masked man robbed a pharmacy at knifepoint minutes after he visited the store to ask about aftershave.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that because of his earlier visit, gardaí had little problem identifying Craig Boothman (23) on CCTV footage of the robbery, despite Boothman hiding his face with a scarf.

He was arrested less than a week later and told gardaí that he was “coked out of it” at the time and couldn’t remember the robbery.

Judge Martin Nolan sentenced Boothman to a total of three years for this and other offences including a shop robbery in which he held a broken bottle to a cashier's throat.

“The idea of putting a broken bottle to a man's neck is particularly reprehensible,” the judge said. He noted that Boothman becomes “an extremely violent young man” after taking alcohol or drugs but that he had some prospects if he stayed clean.

Boothman of Pig Lane, Summer Place Dublin pleaded guilty to robbery at Shay’s Pharmacy, Hogan place on March 6, 2015, robbery of a Spar Shop and criminal damage and burglary of an off-license in Irishtown on April 6, 2014 and assault causing harm and criminal damage of a taxi on Lower Liffey Street on November 11, 2013.

Each offence was committed while he was on bail for the previous one. He has 27 previous convictions which were dealt with at District Court level including burglary, theft, assault and drug possession.

Garda Brian Hunt told prosecuting counsel Seamus Clarke BL that the first offence occurred when Boothman got into a taxi in the city centre. He was so drunk the taxi driver couldn’t understand him and when it appeared he was going to be sick the driver told him to get out of the car.

Boothman lay down on the back-seat and the driver lifted him out. Boothman then punched him in the face and tried to hit him several more times. He also broke a back window on the taxi before nearby gardaí intervened.

A year later Boothman and a group of youths were seen smashing in the front window of an off-license before fleeing with cider and a stolen laptop. They caused €700 damage to the store.

Three hours later Boothman entered a Spar with a broken bottle and grabbed a staff member around the neck, cutting him with the bottle in the process. He emptied the tills and fled but was arrested later that night.

In March this year he entered a pharmacy with his face clearly visible and asked about the price of a bottle of aftershave. He returned minutes later with his face covered with a scarf and pointed a knife at the cashier before fleeing with the contents of the tills

Defence counsel Pieter Le Vert BL asked Judge Nolan to consider “the risk of institutionalisation” of Boothman as a young man. He said he has been clean of drink and drugs since entering prison in March and that he has a job waiting for him in his grandfather’s pub on his release.

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