Friday 15 December 2017

Women use bat, knife to fend off pharmacy raider

Declan Brennan

THREE women armed with a baseball bat and a steak knife managed to fend off a drug addict who attempted to rob their pharmacy using a screwdriver, a court heard.

Karl Fleming (40) of Limetree Avenue, Portmarnock, Dublin, pleaded guilty to the attempted robbery of Tracys Pharmacy, Eden Quay, on February 2, 2011.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard how one victim grabbed a bat while another used a steak knife to scare him.

One of the women then followed him around town until she saw a garda patrol car and asked gardai to arrest him.

Garda John Quirke told Melanie Greally, prosecuting, that Fleming hopped over the shop counter and started waving a screwdriver around and demanding tablets.

He said that pharmacist Matilda Allen had a wooden bat and she tried to fend Fleming off. She dropped the bat in fear when Fleming lunged at her with the screwdriver.

Ms Allen and her co-worker Peggy Allen then went into a back room, leaving a third co-worker, technician Noreen Bassett, with Fleming.

The court heard that Ms Bassett had been making lunch and had a steak knife in her hand when she stood up to Fleming. He lunged towards her but panicked at the sight of the knife and left empty-handed.

Matilda Allen then followed Fleming, keeping him in sight at all times and watching as he turned his jacket inside out.

Intrepid

Ms Greally said that through her "intrepid efforts" Fleming was arrested on nearby Abbey Street after Ms Allen spotted an unmarked garda car and alerted the gardai.

Gda Quirke said Ms Allen showed "considerable fortitude" and she told gardai that she hadn't suffered "any ill effects" from the attempted robbery.

Colm O'Briain, defending, said his client came from a good family but had a longstanding drug addiction.

Judge Martin Nolan described the incident as "frightening" but commended the victims for a "great degree of fortitude and hardiness".

Fleming, who has 39 previous convictions, was serving a four-month suspended sentence for theft and was remanded to appear before Cloverhill District Court next Wednesday, to reactivate this sentence.

Judge Nolan ordered that he appear back before him after that is dealt with and indicated that he would sentence him to 14 months for the attempted robbery of the pharmacy.

Irish Independent

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