Brute threatened to squirt woman's face with petrol and set her on fire during bookies raid

Brute threatened to squirt woman's face with petrol and set her on fire during bookies raid

A man who threatened to squirt a woman in the face with petrol and light a fire during the robbery of a bookmakers has been sentenced to five years.

David Mantle (38) of Captains Road, Crumlin, Dublin, pleaded guilty to robbing Terry Rogers bookmakers on Fairview Strand, Fairview on November 5, 2013 and attempting to rob a Spar store on Lower Abbey Street, Dublin 1 on August 19, 2014.

He has 24 previous convictions and is currently in custody for previous offences.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard one of Mantle’s victims feared she was going to be burned alive, while the man he threatened with a syringe can no longer work in a shop.

The court heard in the first incident, Mantle approached the counter and handed the cashier a betting slip with the words ‘Hand me over the money or petrol is going to be squirted in your face.’

When she looked up, she saw Mantle was brandishing a Fairy Liquid bottle filled with petrol.

The court heard Mantle then told the woman, “I’m going to squirt this in your fucking face. I’ve a lighter and I’m going to set this place on fire.”

While the woman handed over an unspecified sum of money to Mantle, her colleague, a heavily pregnant woman, sounded the panic button. He left shortly afterwards.

After he was arrested, Mantle told gardaí he couldn’t remember the incident or how much money he had stolen. The court heard Mantle, a chronic alcoholic, had been drinking vodka that day and frequently suffered from blackouts.

In the second incident Mantle entered the Spar store and asked the man working there for a bottle of spirits. When the worker told Mantle he could not sell him alcohol because it was after 10pm, Mantle produced a syringe filled with dark blue liquid and said, “Give me the bottle and all the money from the till.”

He left empty-handed when the worker picked up a hammer from behind the till. He was identified from CCTV footage and told gardaí he couldn’t remember the incident.

Sentencing Mantle, Judge Patricia Ryan said his victims were left traumatised. She said at the time of the Fairview robbery, the victim “was in fear of her life”.

“She was convinced she was to be set on fire and burned alive,” Judge Ryan said before imposing a five year term with two suspended.

As a result of the Spar attempted robbery, the worker can no longer work in a shop environment and is unemployed while he seeks office work, the court heard.