A 20 year old man who was involved in an attempted robbery where two women were threatened with being shot, was sentenced to a total of five years at Dundalk Circuit Court last week.
Conor Gartland with an address at Aisling Park, Dundalk pleaded guilty to producing an imitation handgun during the incident at Sloane’s Shop, on the Avenue Road, Dundalk on the 6th of May 2010.
He also admitted a robbery on the Red Barns Road on the 12th of August last year.
The court was told last Thursday the victim was sitting with friends on a fence when the defendant and another individual approached and as the injured party went to walk away Conor Gartland grabbed him in a head lock and demanded that he hand over a chain he was wearing and money.
The victim said he had none, and Conor Gartland took cash from his pocket.
The court heard the injured party knew the defendant to say hello to and was able to identify him to gardai.
Conor Gartland admitted stealing €70 after a scuffle but he denied an allegation that he had put a knife to the victim’s throat.
The court heard there were conflicting accounts of this aspect of the robbery with one witness saying he had seen the defendant’s accomplice holding the knife. In the second incident, the defendant was one of two masked men who ran into Sloane’s shop on the Avenue Road around 9.30am on the 12th of August last year.
They said to the two women, “Morning ladies. Give us all the money or we’re going to shoot you.”
They tried but failed to get money from the till and left after one of the women started throwing items at them from the counter. They were seen to escape on a bicycle and the accused was later found hiding in shrubbery in Glenwood.
The handgun recovered, was an imitation airsoft pistol and the defendant told gardai he needed money for drugs.
The Defence argued his client had cooperated with gardai, and had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.
The court was told the defendant had 16 previous convictions, for theft and criminal damage.
The barrister said his client is the father of an 18 month old child and another child is expected in January. He added that the accused had made efforts to address his drug addiction problems while still in the community and while he was not 100% successful he had since detoxed while in custody.
Judge Michael O’Shea imposed a two year’s detention for the Red Barns Road Robbery and consecutive sentences totalling three years, as the attempted robbery was committed while on bail.