11 Aug 2022

Robber jailed after pensioner victim plans to move out of the area she has lived in all her life

Robber jailed after pensioner victim plans to move out of the area she has lived in all her life

A pensioner who was attacked during a robbery of her local bookies has said she is now planning to move out of the area where she has lived all her life.

Two men were involved in a robbery of the bookmakers on the South Circular Road in Rialto, Dublin city on March 30, 2019.

Detective Garda Nathan McKenna told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that a 66-year-old woman was putting down her regular lottery numbers when one of the men grabbed her by the neck and began shouting at the teller to give them money.

This man pushed the victim against the glass and held on to her until the cash was handed over by the frightened teller, the court heard.

After the raiders left the elderly woman, who has epilepsy and a heart murmur, was shaking.

Investigators used high quality CCTV footage to identify the raiders who had not covered their faces. They were later arrested at the Carmens Hostel/Hall, Francis Street, Dublin where they shared a room.

At his hearing on Tuesday, David O'Brien (43) pleaded guilty to robbery. The court heard that O'Brien was not the man who held the woman but the two men were acting together.

During interview O'Brien said nothing of evidential value.

In a victim impact statement the woman said she can no longer go to her local bookies to socialise. She said she has lived in the area all her life and is now seeking to move out.

She suffered soft tissue damage as a result of the attack. O'Brien was on bail at the time and has previous convictions for theft, drug and public order offences.

Conor McKenna BL, defending, said his client had a chronic drug addiction at the time. He told the court his client was exposed to drug addiction in his family from the age of four and he started smoking heroin when he was 14.

Judge Karen O'Connor said that it was little value to the woman that O'Brien had not physically touched her and said the two men were acting together.

She noted that O'Brien's expressions of remorse were accepted as genuine by Dt Gda McKenna. She said this was undoubtedly a terrifying incident and she imposed a prison sentence of four and a half years.

She said she was suspending the final 18 months to encourage O'Brien to continue his efforts to rehabilitate and get clean of drug addiction.

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