Wednesday 17 July 2019

An Post employees are left in constant fear after robbery

Maugheraboy Post Office
Maugheraboy Post Office

Two An Post employees have said they are in constant fear and on edge since Maugheraboy PO was robbed by men in balaclavas with one wielding a knife.

Jack Gorevan (19) of 5, Brookgrove, Farmhill, Strandhill Road and Seán Lynch (19) of 57, Knocknaganny Park appeared before Sligo Circuit Court for sentencing having pleaded guilty to robbing Maugheraboy Post Office on 12th June, 2018.

CCTV footage shown to the court saw that the men, aged 18 at the time, ran into the post office dressed in black and wearing balaclavas.

Lynch, who was on bail at the time, jumped on top of the counter trying to get over the screen. while Gorevan came to the second counter wielding a knife.

An eye witness account from a customer collecting money at the time recalled shouting, 'Open the register, don't touch anything'.

An Post office employee Rosemary Keaveney pressed the panic button as did post mistress Anne Kelly.

Ms Keaveney squeezed a bottle of water in the face of one of the men.

Before they left they grabbed €395 euro on the counter belonging to the male customer. The women were shaken but were concerned that the man got his €395 payment.

In total, the men were in the post office for 35 seconds. Gardaí were on the scene within minutes at 2.32pm.

Garda Daniel Grimes and two other officers began searching the area for the men and spotted Lynch, giving chase.Lynch told Garda Grimes he was looking for his dog.

He was found in possession of €370. While searching for Gorevan, Garda Kevin Costello noticed cattle moving in a nearby field and was alerted to the second man.

Gorevan was found hiding in hedgerow and had €25 in his possession. Following their arrests both men made admissions in relation to the armed robbery.

The court was told the men conducted the robbery as they were under pressure from a third party and that 20 minutes of planning had gone into the robbery.

Gorevan told Garda Grimes if he could 'roll back the clock' he wouldn't touch a drug in his life. It was heard Gorevan struggled with addiction from a very young age.

The court heard Lynch was on bail at the time and told gardaí he and his friend had not planned on hurting anyone.

Representing Gorevan, instructed by McGovern and Walsh solciitors, Mr Keith O'Grady BL outlined that despite having a change of clothes following the robbery, his client did not put serious planning into the robbery.

He told the court that when apprehended, Gorevan asked, "How did you know it was me, I changed my clothes?"

In her Victim Impact Statement Rosemary Keaveney said that since the robbery her confidence was 'shot' and has fear and anxiety that it will happen again.

She said since the robbery she was angry seeing the men walk past the office with a 'look of smugness'.

In her Victim Impact Statement Anne Kelly described the robbery as a 'very terrifying experience' in which she feared for herself and her colleague.

She detailed that she is constantly on edge and couldn't eat or sleep properly since the robbery and keeps getting flashbacks. She said the 'culprits' walked past the post office on numerous occasions since.

"This vicious attack will never leave me," she said.

Representing Lynch, instructed by McGovern and Walsh solicitors, Mr Peter Daly BL, said his client had no previous convictions at the time of the offence.

A Probation Report outlined that Lynch, a father of one, was remorseful for his actions.

Drug use had led to him committing the offence and Lynch had been exposed to alcohol and drugs from a young age.

Lynch has started a course in construction ground work skills and is at medium risk of reoffending. It was heard there are alleged matters pending before the district court.

In mitigation, Mr O'Grady BL told the court little research was put into the robbery and the men could not even get through the post office partition.

Mr O'Grady said a consultation with Gorevan's mother was 'one of the toughest' he had ever conducted and said Gorevan's mother doesn't recognise her son anymore as 'drugs took over his life'.

He was classified as being at a high end of reoffending and is currently in custody for an alleged offence 'similiar' to the one before the court.

Mr O'Grady asked if both matters could be dealt with at the next sitting of Sligo Circuit Court.

Judge Francis Comerford put both matters back to this Thursday for sentencing and noted that both Probation Reports 'made for very sad reading'.

Sligo Champion