Monday 22 January 2018

Reformed drug addict with 101 previous convictions jailed for 20 months over pharmacy robbery

Sonya McLean

A reformed drug addict previously described by a judge as a “gentle giant” has been jailed for 20 months for a pharmacy robbery in Dublin.

Paul Bradley (34), who has 101 previous convictions, was jailed for a year in January after Judge Martin Nolan heard evidence of an attempted robbery on Harcourt Street in June 2014.

Today Luigi Rea BL, defending, reminded Judge Nolan that he described his client as a “gentle giant” last month after he heard evidence that Bradley is taking care of his recently deceased sister’s son.

Bradley of Thomas Court, Pimlico, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery of cash and prescription medication from Hickey’s Pharmacy, on the Harold’s Cross Road on December 14, 2013.

Judge Nolan said the robbery terrified the staff in the chemist and noted that Bradley ran from gardaí when they arrived at the scene.

He accepted that he is a long term addict who now seems to be “motivated to rehabilitate” before he sentenced him to 20 months in prison.

Garda Paula Burke told Kerida Naidoo BL, prosecuting, that two men wearing balaclavas raided the pharmacy at 7.45pm.

Bradley went to the till and demanded money before he picked up both cash registers, smashing them on the ground and taking €480. His accomplice went behind the counter and took various prescription medications.

Gda Burke said that while neither man produced weapons “they kept their hands in their pockets in a manner that caused concern for staff”.

Both men ran from the chemist and hailed down a taxi. When gardaí arrived on the scene, having been alerted to the raid, Bradley was still sitting in the passenger seat of the taxi.

He ran off and Gda Burke chased him. She caught him and used her baton to attempt to arrest him but he escaped through some nearby gardens.

Bradley was arrested the following day but denied any involvement. He later opted for trial but then changed his plea to guilty.

His 101 previous convictions include robbery, burglary, handling stolen property, carrying a firearm, production of an article and drug offences.

Mr Rea told Judge Nolan that Bradley had a long history of drug abuse going back many years but he now wants to go for drug treatment.

He asked the court to allow his client “to prove that he is putting this lifestyle behind him”.

“If he remains drug free, the court can be confident, he will not re-offend,” Mr Rea submitted.

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