A father of seven who was the getaway driver from a raid on a filling station – during which what appeared to be a handgun was produced - was last week sentenced to three-and-a -half years at Dundalk Circuit Court, with the final six months suspended.
John Guy (38) with an address at Fairgreen Park, Keady county Armagh, pleaded guilty to a charge of robbery at Texaco, Townparks, Ardee on 21 September 2013.
The court heard last Wednesday that the man who carried out the robbery – who has since died - had entered the premises that evening wearing his hoodie up and his face partially concealed.
He pointed what looked like a black handgun with tape wrapped around at an 18 year old woman working there and asked her to open the till.
Both she and her co-worker a 21-year-old man, told him they couldn’t open it¸but the woman told gardai that after the raider threatened to shoot them both, she went into shock.
She opened the cash register and was ordered to hand over the notes.
Seventeen hundred euro was taken and a witness spotted a Northern registered Volkswagon Passat drive off towards the roundabout which leads to the Carrickmacross as well as the M1 motorway.
The defendant was traced through CCTV footage.
He told gardai that the gun – was actually a spud gun wrapped in tape to disguise that it was coloured blue, and it was thrown from the car near a crash barrier as they drove towards Castleblayney.
The defendant claimed the other individual was the architect of the robbery plan, and had picked the location as he believed guards use Texaco stations to get free diesel and petrol.
The accused said he was given €500 payment for being the getaway driver and admitted supplying hats, balaclavas and the “spud-gun”.
The court heard John Guy who had 17 previous convictions, began taking cannabis at a young age following the death of his grandmother. That escalated to a heroin addiction, and while he had completed a treatment course in Armagh, he suffered a relapse and is serving a sentence for a separate robbery in Monaghan around the same time.
The accused pleaded guilty at the first opportunity in May as the prosecution was delayed as the investigating detective was one of a number of gardai who were attacked and injured after a dog was set on them, as they carried out a drugs search.