A father of two who robbed the same bookmakers twice in two days to get a birthday present for his son and alcohol for himself has received a suspended jail sentence.
Dean Murray (28) of Ardmore Drive, Fortunestown Lane, Tallaght, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery of Toolan's Bookmakers, Main Street, Saggart on July 2 and 4, 2011. He also admitted possession of an imitation firearm on July 2, 2011.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring suspended a sentence of three years imprisonment on condition that he keeps the peace for three years. She noted he has not come to garda attention since these offences.
Detective Garda Pat Higgins told Pieter Le Vert BL, prosecuting, that on July 2, Murray came into the bookmakers wearing a high visibility jacket and with a grey hood pulled over his face. He threatened staff and customers with an imitation firearm before he fled with €500 from the till.
Two days later he robbed the same bookmakers after approaching a woman behind the counter, ordering her "not to press any buttons" and demanding cash. When she handed over €400 he asked "Is this it?" and laughed when she enquired if he would like the coins.
Det Gda Higgins said gardai were provided with the registration number of the getaway car in relation to the first raid and Murray was nominated as a suspect following a garda tip-off in relation to the second robbery.
He was arrested on July 5 and made admissions. He said he had felt guilty that he had missed his son's birthday because he was in jail and wanted money to buy him a present.
Murray said he robbed the bookmakers the second time for cash for drink for himself and his friends and admitted that he had a hammer with him.
He has previous convictions for assault, road traffic offences and drugs.
Det Gda Higgins agreed with Kieran Kelly BL, defending, that his client was not "majorly aggressive" but said "his actions had the desired effect".
Mr Kelly said his client qualified as a commis chef in 2009. Murray started taking drugs as a young teenager but counsel said he has since "undergone a self-cleansing process".