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Shop owner used step ladder to chase off knife-wielding raider, court hears

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A shop owner wielding a step ladder chased off a raider armed with a knife, a Dublin court has heard.

Jamie O'Rourke (26) fled the Centra store in Swords and went on to rob a tanning salon of €150 in cash, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard today. He was caught a short time later after armed gardaí tasered him and followed the taser wire to a bush he was hiding in.

O'Rourke, with an address in St Cronans Way, Swords, later told gardaí he had no memory of the incident because he had taken heroin that day.

He pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to rob the Centra store at River Valley, Swords, and one count of robbing the Tanning Salon, Swords on August 26, 2019. He has been in custody since that date.

Detective Garda Karen Duffy told Noel Devitt BL, prosecuting, that gardaí were called to the Centra store on the day in question following a report a man armed with a knife had tried to rob the store.

The court heard the man was tapping the till with a knife and demanding money when the shop owner came at him wielding a stepladder as a weapon and chased him out of the shop.

While en route to the Centra store, gardaí were alerted to a robbery at the nearby Tanning Salon shop in Swords. O'Rourke had run from Centra to the tanning store and ordered the shop assistant to open the till. He made off with €156 in cash.

Shortly after leaving the salon, he was apprehended by gardaí from the Armed Response Unit who were on patrol in the area. After refusing to stop for them, O'Rourke was tasered as he tried to escape.

One wire attached to him and gardaí followed the wire into a bush where O'Rourke was trying to hide. He has 36 previous convictions, including for robbery and attempted robbery.

Rónán Prendergast BL, defending, said his client came from an unstable family background and started abusing drugs from a young age.

Judge Patricia Ryan ordered a Probation Services report and adjourned the matter for sentencing on July 10.

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