03 Oct 2022

Robber whose crime featured on Joe Duffy to be sentenced next month

Robber whose crime featured on Joe Duffy to be sentenced next month

A robber whose crime against two tourists near the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin featured on the Joe Duffy radio show will be sentenced for his role in the offence next month.

Paul Heaney (37) and Gareth Mallon (39), who had a realistic imitation firearm, robbed an Italian student of €60 and attempted to rob his teacher before fleeing the scene.

The court heard the case attracted some media attention and featured on the Liveline show on RTE radio.

Heaney, who was not armed during the offence, attended voluntarily at a garda station a few days later. Mallon was sentenced to four year imprisonment for his role last December.

Heaney, of Michael Mallin House, Dublin 8, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery and attempted robbery at Long’s Place on October 21, 2019. He has 51 previous convictions.

Garda Cormac O'Donnell told Grainne O'Neill BL, prosecuting, that a group of 30 students in their late teens and their teachers had been in the Guinness Storehouse.

A student at the back of the group was approached by a man, Mallon, who pointed a gun at his legs and said softly “money money money.” The second man, Heaney, was unarmed and had a tissue over his face.

The student handed over €60 and the man then pointed the gun at one of the teachers who screamed. Another teacher came to her aid and the two robbers ran off.

A woman nearby videoed the robbery on her mobile phone. Heaney presented himself to gardaí a few days later.

Gda O'Donnell agreed with Fiona Murphy SC, defending, that Heaney placed himself at the scene with the person who produced the gun. He agreed Heaney played a lesser role but said it had been a “joint enterprise.”

Heaney had told garda he had not been involved with planning the robbery.

Ms Murphy said Heaney had expressed remorse and regretted his involvement in the offence. She said he had been on his way to get tablets when he bumped into the other individual involved.

She said he had a difficult early life and had fallen into a cycle of going into custody, doing well, being released and falling 'off the wagon', then reoffending in a life marred by drug use. She said he is clean of drugs at present and anxious to engage with rehabilitation.

Judge Elma Sheahan ordered urine analysis to be carried out and adjourned sentencing until Match 8 when the case will be finalised by video link.

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