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Thai sex tape behind €60k Woodies raid

A DUBLIN doorman has been jailed for three years for stealing almost €60,000 from Woodies DIY during an "inside job" robbery.

The court heard the raid on the Coolock branch of the DIY shop was staged by the manager and the doorman and both men later shared the cash.

Trevor Knowles (40), of McAuley Avenue, Artane, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the theft of almost €60,000 from Woodies DIY, on the Malahide Road, on June 17, 2009.

Knowles' accomplice in the robbery was the manager of the branch, Thomas McDermott, and the two men worked together to carry out the theft.

McDermott (27), of Rockmarshall, Jenkinstown, Dundalk, was given a three-year suspended sentence in October 2010 for his role in the robbery after €27,450 was recovered during a search of his house.

McDermott said he staged the robbery because he was being blackmailed by a woman he met in Thailand who had videotaped them having sex.

Garda Neill Plunkett told Monika Leech, prosecuting, that McDermott left the alarm off, the premises unlocked and allowed Knowles to punch him in the face and tie him up to make it look like a real robbery.

Knowles walked out of the building with a bag containing €58,092 in cash, €1,065 in cheques and €130 in vouchers.

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The court heard that none of Knowles' share of the money has been recovered.

Garda Plunkett said Knowles initially denied being involved with planning the robbery, and claimed he had simply been paid €2,000 to collect a "heavy bag" from the shop.

"I took a bag but didn't know what was in it," he said, adding: "I didn't care to take a look in it."

Knowles changed his plea to guilty during his trial in March when faced with an "overwhelming" amount of evidence against him.

Garda Plunkett agreed with Breffni Gordon, defending, that Knowles has no previous convictions and is a family man.

Mr Gordon said his client was "very, very sorry" for his role in the robbery and also for the way he conducted his defence to the charges.

Judge Patrick McCartan pointed out that McDermott was "given a chance" and received a suspended sentence because almost all of the money had been recovered.

Judge McCartan began giving his sentence but was interrupted after a couple of minutes when Knowles offered to get a bank loan to pay off the money he had stolen.

The judge said he was not prepared to entertain or consider it, and insisted that it was too late for negotiations as he was in the process of handing out his sentence. Judge McCartan sentenced Knowles to five years in prison and suspended the final two years.

hnews@herald.ie


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