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How a bank robber was snared by DNA

A raider who was snared by DNA evidence has been jailed for his role in an armed robbery three years ago.

Michael Chaney (27) held the door for his two accomplices at the EBS building society in Vernon Avenue, Clontarf. The men threatened staff and customers with imitation firearms before making off with €3,515 in cash.

Chaney was first arrested in 2008 and interviewed but was then released without charge. He was arrested again almost two years later after his DNA was found on clothing that had been abandoned close to the scene of the raid. The same clothing was also clearly captured on CCTV footage of the robbery.

Chaney, of Primrose Grove, Darndale, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery at the EBS on May 21, 2008.

Judge Martin Nolan jailed Chaney for three and half years, after saying he had been "eventually snared by DNA".

The judge said the raid must have been a terrifying experience for both the staff and customers but accepted that Chaney's plea of guilty was "useful" to the prosecution.

Garda Lisa Sheehan told Mr Karl Finnegan, prosecuting, that a bank clerk was dealing with a customer when he heard a loud bang on the security glass.


He looked up and saw man holding, what he later acknowledged could have been a toy gun. The man shouted at him to give "him the money" and he handed over the contents of his cash drawer.

The staff member later told gardai he was terrified for both his safety and that of his customers.

Garda Sheehan said witnesses later gave gardai detailed descriptions of the Honda car used by the robbers fled, and of the raiders themselves. Chaney was arrested almost two years later but Garda Sheehan said "nothing of evidential value arose" out of his subsequent interviews.

Patrick Marrinan, defending, said his client had started to address "the root cause of his behaviour, his heroin addiction".