Killer told woman: 'This is a robbery love'
A convicted killer who stole nearly €10,000 worth of sunglasses and cash from a Drogheda store has been jailed for three years after the circuit court heard he told the secretary: 'This is a robbery, love'.
But the defendant was caught the following day after he walked past the same shop and the victim recognised him.
Wayne White, (43), whose address was given as 1 Laurence's Gate, Drogheda, admitted a count of robbery from the Eye Care Plus in Drogheda on April 9 2015.
He arrived into the shop shortly after they opened at 10am and the female secretary recognised him from White having been in the store the day before and on another occasion.
White went around the counter and said to the secretary: 'This is a robbery, love' and he had a screwdriver in his hand which the woman believed was a knife.
He told her to lock the front door and then asked her where the safe was.
The victim got a key and took items out of the safe, including an envelope with around €2,000 in it, which White placed into his bag.
White then asked her about CCTV and when the woman said she didn't know how it worked, he tried to get the CD out of it and ended up hitting it with the screwdriver a number of times.
He then took the woman into the retail part of the store where he stole around 20 pairs of Ray Ban sunglasses, as well as designer glasses' frames.
White later told Gardai he had gone straight to Dublin with the cash and glasses, which had a total value of €9,646, and used them to 'pay off a drug debt'.
A co-worker contacted Gardai moments after the robbery and despite getting there quickly and viewing the CCTV, they were unable to catch him that day.
But just over 24 hours later, the victim was in the same shop and saw White walk past the window. She immediately contacted Gardai who arrived within minutes and located White on North Quay Street.
After his arrest, he made 'frank admissions' about his involvement in the incident and said he was very sorry when Gardai told him that the victim had been very frightened by his actions.
The woman told Gardai that she had worked in the store for a couple of months following the robbery but when she was told she could no longer lock the door between customers, she left and found other employment.
White, who has 29 previous convictions, was sentenced to nine years in 1994 for manslaughter and his other convictions include two counts of robbery, theft and assault.
Barrister Aaron Shearer said his client has battling a heroin, and then cocaine, addiction for the past 20 years. He is a father of two and also has a grandchild.
He has been in custody since June 14 2015 and is attending weekly counselling session in prison.
Judge O'Shea said that while the screwdriver wasn't used, the victim had been subjected to a 'frightening, intimidating and aggressive' ordeal.
The judge said: 'He held up the screwdriver which she thought was a knife and she was afraid'.
Judge O'Shea imposed a three year sentence but backdated it to June 14 when he went into custody.