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Shop raider jailed after two attacks

A MAN who was involved in two robberies, one where a security guard was stabbed and another where a knife was held to the throat of a cashier, has received a six-year sentence with two years suspended.

Thomas Mongan (23) of Fairlawn Road, Finglas pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the robbery of the Carry Out off-licence in Ashtown Village, Rathborne, Dublin 15 on January 24, 2009 and Centra in Clongriffin, Dublin 13 on August 18, 2009.

He was on bail for a previous robbery at the time of the off-licence robbery.

Gardai said that Mongan and a co-accused took "MDMA or angel dust" and went into the Centra. Mongan reached over the counter and grabbed money from the till, which was being manned by a pregnant staff member.

The security guard saw this and approached the pair, at which point the other robber took out a knife and stabbed him in the arm several times. They then fled, but before leaving one of them picked up a wine bottle and threw it at the guard, missing him.

They stole €250, which was split between them. Gardai were called and Detective Garda Colin Fitzpatrick immediately identified Mongan on the CCTV footage.

When the detective got off duty that evening he was driving home when he saw the pair in a stolen car. Mongan and his co-accused were arrested.

Mongan admitted the robbery but said he did not know his accomplice had a knife. Garda Cathal Middleton said that in January, Mongan and another man entered an off-licence. Mongan put a knife to the throat of the cashier, who pushed him back and closed the till.

During the ensuing struggle, Mongan's co-accused reached across the counter and hit the man in the back with a hammer. They took the money, smashed the screen of the till and fled.

Mongan was arrested shortly after and half of the cash was found on him. He again made full admissions, saying he needed the money for drugs.

Defence counsel, Michael Bowman BL, said his client had three previous convictions for robbery and theft. He said he was a drug addict who was married with two children and had come to Dublin after the murder of his cousin.