A man attempted to rob a 76-year-old woman in Lusk at knife point having raided two nearby premises within a few minutes of each other, a court has heard.
Declan Turner (23) committed the offences over a ten minute period within a distance of 500 metres of each other in Lusk, Co Dublin. He was identified on CCTV and told gardai he had a drug problem.
Turner, of Barrons Hall House, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to attempted robbery at Supervalu; robbery at Gino's takeaway and attempted robbery at Orylnn Park, all at Station Road, Lusk, Co Dublin on November 15, 2019. He has 33 previous convictions.
Detective Garda John Delaney told Dara Hayes BL, prosecuting, that Turner approached a staff member working at a counter in Supervalu, produced a knife and demanded money.
He left empty-handed after the staff member pressed a bell on the side of the counter.
Turner, still armed with the knife, then went to a neighbouring premises Gino's takeaway, demanded money and left with a €20 note from the float after jumping the counter.
A 76-year-old woman walking in nearby Orlynn Park saw Turner walking towards her. He said hello and she responded in kind. Turner then grabbed her arm, produced his knife and demanded money.
She told Turner she had no money and he told her: 'Give me the money or I will kill you.'
The woman showed him her empty hands and looked Turner in the eye. He then walked off.
The elderly woman, who felt jittery and scared, rang her brother-in-law who alerted gardai. Gardai reviewed CCTV from the two business premises and identified Turner who was arrested the following day. He was initially unfit for interview but later made admissions. He told gardai he had a cocaine problem and admitted the robberies, but did not know where he got or left the knife. He said he had no recollection of robbing the elderly woman. The garda agreed with defence counsel that Turner admitted taking drink and drugs earlier that day and does not remember the events. He agreed no one was injured and that Turner expressed remorse. Defence counsel submitted Turner had been assessed in one report as having a mild learning difficulty and has had dealings with mental health services. He said he needs assistance to stay on the straight and narrow, is easily influenced and has been subjected to bullying which gets him into a lot of trouble.
Judge Melanie Greally remanded Turner in continuing custody and adjourned sentencing until November 5, 2020 to allow a psychological report be prepared.