Hammer burglary pair who terrorised man they robbed of €16k are jailed for 12 years

Thieves Catherine Dempsey and Carlos Lawrence had a wedge hammer when they robbed Alan Greene

Sonya McLean

A couple who terrorised a man they were told had a lot of money have been sentenced to a total of 12 years for burglary and stealing more than €16,000.

Carlos Lawrence (27), of Rosary Road, Maryland, Dublin 8, pleaded guilty to theft and burglary while armed with a wedge hammer at Wainsfort Manor Grove, Terenure, last December 13.

His partner and mother of his twin boys, Catherine Dempsey (26), of Michael Mallin House, Vicar Street, Dublin 8, admitted stealing €15,000 in cash and burglary in the same robbery.


Judge Melanie Greally had adjourned the case after hearing evidence earlier this month.

At Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday she said Lawrence had been the protagonist.

"He alone made the threats, he alone used the hammer and he was responsible for the violence," she added, noting that the offence was "committed against a man in his own home".

She accepted that Dempsey was "unaware of the full extent of Lawrence's intentions".

The judge acknowledged that Lawrence had expressed remorse both to the victim and Dempsey, who was sentenced to five years in prison with the final three suspended.

Lawrence was sentenced to seven years with the final year suspended.

The judge allowed for the fact that he was "in the throes of a severe drug addiction" at the time, that he had expressed remorse, had a good work history and difficult background.

Det Sgt Jason Miley told prosecutor Antonia Boyle at the sentence hearing earlier this month that Alan Greene was asleep in his bedroom when Lawrence smashed through the glass of the room's French doors with a hammer.

Mr Greene struggled with the intruder, but the man managed to get inside.

The house alarm was sounding and Lawrence told Mr Greene to switch it off, before telling him to open the front door to allow Dempsey in.

The pair shouted at him to give them money, telling Mr Greene that "G" had told him he had lots of money.

Det Sgt Miley confirmed that "G" was Mr Greene's partner and had introduced him to Lawrence and Dempsey two months before.

The sergeant said that on the night of the burglary, Lawrence claimed "G" owed him €200,000 after she stole a stash of crack cocaine, and he said Mr Greene would have to pay for it.


The apartment was ransacked and €150 was taken before Mr Greene was made to withdraw €1,200 from a local ATM using two different cards.

The next morning, Dempsey accompanied him to the bank, where he withdrew €15,000.

Gardai arrived at the couples' home later that day and €12,500 was recovered from Dempsey.

Det Sgt Miley said Dempsey claimed she was put under pressure to go into the bank.

A victim impact statement from Mr Greene acknowledged that €12,455 of the €16,350 stolen was returned to him.

He said the burglary occupies all of his thoughts. "The real impact is being at home alone," his statement read.