A 22 year old man who produced an iron bar during a robbery in which he stole two bags of crisps and a bottle of water from a local Mace store, was jailed for two years at Dundalk Circuit Court last week.
Judge Michael O’Shea heard Michael Murden with an address at Cois Croinn, Saltown, Dundalk had previously been convicted of robbing the same premises on the Castletown Road, Dundalk three months later.
The court was told last Thursday that Michael Murden was drunk and wearing gloves, when he approached the hatch at the Mace store and Maxol filling station, around 2.45 am on October 15th 2015 and asked the cashier for two packs of crisps and a bottle of water.
When the shop assistant returned to the hatch with the items, he then ‘protested’ that had no money to pay for them, and then produced an iron bar through the hatch, which he began to swing towards a computer.
The cashier told gardai he was in fear as the bar was being swung at him and he gave the crisps and bottled water to the accused, who CCTV showed had tried to escape before he was arrested at the scene.
The goods – worth €4.00 were subsequently recovered, as was the iron bar.
The garda sergeant who gave evidence, confirmed to the defence that the bar was prodded through the security drawer used to serve customers and the accused was at all times separated from the cashier by security glass and as he was known to staff at the premises there was no question of him not being identified.
The Defence barrister also said his client did not bring the iron bar to the scene, and it may well have been a pole used for opening and closing shutters, and a feature of his offending, was being intoxicated on many occasions.
The court heard the father of one had a string of previous convictions, including robbing the premises three months later, in addition to assault causing harm, deception, blackmail, burglary and arson.
Judge Michael O’Shea noted there was no degree of planning involved and the accused did not have his face covered and his intoxication was a key factor.
He imposed a three year sentence but suspended the final 12 months, on Michael Murden entering a bond to be of good behaviour.
The sentence was backdated to June last year, when he went into custody.