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Escaped lifer carried out 4 armed raids

A SCOTTISH criminal on the run from a life sentence in the UK has been sentenced to seven years in prison for four armed robberies in Dublin last year.

Derek Brockwell (52), of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the offences after he escaped from prison in the UK where he had been serving a life sentence.

Judge Martin Nolan sentenced him to seven years for the offences, which included the robbery of An Post in Bon Espresso Newsagents on Merrion Row on September 25, 2012.

Sergeant Brian O'Keeffe said Brockwell went into the shop and grabbed a shop assistant before marching her down to the post office at the rear of the shop.

Caroline Doyle, a shop assistant, said he pushed a gun into her arm and then told other staff to give him the money.

Her colleagues handed Brockwell about €3,525 in cash.

Brockwell admitted robbing euro and foreign denominations worth €6,436 from the Bank of Ireland, Main Street, Blackrock,on October 4, 2012.

He took over €2,200, £2,400 in sterling and various other foreign currencies.

Brockwell was later picked up by gardai in a taxi on Baggot Street. He further admitted holding up a bookies shop in Kilmainham on August 31, 2012 and robbing €25 from the till.

The court also heard of an armed robbery carried out by Brockwell in the toilets of the Gresham Hotel on O'Connell Street on September 22 last year.

Conor Palmer told gardai that he was standing at the urinal when a man pressed himself close to him and pushed a sharp implement into his neck, saying "Give me whatever is in your f***ing pockets." Mr Palmer gave him his wallet containing about €120 in cash.

His previous convictions include 11 robberies and 11 firearms offences, for which he received a life sentence. He had served 12 years when he escaped from an open prison in the UK in February 2012.