AN 'inside man' robbery was so badly botched by a hotel porter and another young accomplice that gardaí instantly became suspicious when they looked at CCTV footage.
Adam Buckley and David Drohan were warned before Cork Circuit Criminal Court that the €10,250 robbery they jointly staged at a Cork hotel was so amateurish it was immediately apparent to detectives that it was entirely contrived.
The duo had planned for Drohan to pretend to assault Buckley, who worked as a porter at the Oriel House Hotel in Ballincollig, Co Cork.
Drohan would then flee with cash taken from an office just off the lobby.
But gardaí were immediately suspicious when Buckley raised the alarm.
Detectives believed the assault, caught on CCTV camera footage, was so dramatic and exaggerated it was likely contrived.
Gardaí also became suspicious because of the length of time it took Buckley to raise the alarm on September 8, 2018.
Both men, once confronted by gardaí about their suspicions, immediately admitted what had happened.
"It was so dramatic gardaí were immediately suspicious that it had been staged," a garda said.
"It later became clear to gardaí from the CCTV security camera footage that this was staged and amateurish."
Judge Sean O'Donnabháin was told that gardaí recovered around €6,000 of the robbery takings within 24 hours.
Brendan Kenny BL, for Drohan of Church View, Ballincollig, Cork, confirmed his client has raised €3,000 in compensation.
Peter O'Flynn BL, for Buckley of Castle Avenue, Muskerry Estate, Ballincollig, Cork said his client had €1,000 in compensation available in court.
Judge O'Donnabháin warned that he wanted Buckley to sort the €500 in outstanding compensation to the hotel.
"If he doesn't, it will be the costliest €500 - it will be the dearest €500 ever," the judge warned.
It was confirmed to Judge O'Donnabháin that the extra amount would be paid in compensation and the hotel would not be at any loss.
The court was told that both young men had never been involved in similar incidents previously.
Both had taken steps to address cannabis problems and were now drugs-free.
The duo also deeply regretted what had happened.
Buckley, who only handed in his notice as a hotel porter just days before the robbery, had also been desperate for funds after learning his girlfriend was pregnant.
Judge O'Donnabháin described it as a "foolish" robbery and noted the breach of trust by Buckley who had been an employee of the hotel.
He imposed three-year suspended sentences on both men.