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Jail for man who set off to kill himself but robbed store instead

A MAN who was on his way to kill himself but stopped to try and rob a Centra shop six years ago has been given a three-year sentence for this and other offences.

Terence Murphy (29) pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery at Centra, Palmerstown Village, on November 21, 2005. He further pleaded guilty to using a false instrument on November 29, 2005 and handling a stolen cheque on January 19, 2006 both at AIB, Crumlin.

Murphy, of Beech Cottage, Brannockstown, Naas, has 38 previous convictions.

Judge Martin Nolan noted there was hope for Murphy's rehabilitation and imposed consecutive sentences totalling three years, but suspended the final year on strict conditions.

Garda Robert Smith told Martina Baxter, prosecuting, that a staff member at Centra was bagging up change at about 9.40pm when Murphy grabbed her arm and told her: "I have a syringe give me the money."

He then reached over and took money from the till.


The woman pressed the panic button and a colleague ran to stop Murphy getting away. Garda arrived and found the barrel of a syringe in Murphy's coat after he told them it was there.

Murphy told gardai he had intended to hang himself that day but described going into the shop and grabbing the girl after he saw her counting change. He said there was no syringe needle on the barrel.

Garda Smith agreed with Pieter Le Vert, defending, that Murphy told gardai he had been advised earlier that day after visiting a clinic to go to St James's Hospital to be psychiatrically assessed.

Murphy said he had intended to hang himself because he felt he was a "waster". He told gardai he owed money for heroin and cocaine and was in fear of his life.

Mr Le Vert said Murphy was a father of two and his partner had died in 2010. He also suffers a number of health difficulties.