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Convicted killer robbed casino after threatening colleagues with pellet gun

William Beresford (Pic: Herald)
William Beresford (Pic: Herald)

A convicted killer who robbed the casino he used to work in after threatening his former colleagues with a pellet gun will be sentenced next November.

William Beresford (45) was convicted of manslaughter in 1999 after he killed his brother during a fight. His counsel suggested to the court that as Beresford's brother was armed with a knife at the time, that fell during the course of the altercation, it was a case of self-defence.

Beresford handed himself into gardaí four days after the robbery. He said he was embarrassed. He was sorry for what he had done but he needed the money for drugs.

Beresford of Kippure Park, Finglas, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery at the Station's Sport Club, Amiens Street on August 20, 2015. His 28 previous convictions, apart from the manslaughter conviction, were all for minor District Court offences.

Judge Melanie Greally said it was very hard to get away from the fact that Beresford had used a pellet gun to threaten people he knew who had been good to him in the past.

She accepted that he was clearly someone with difficulties and his previous convictions suggested that he had never properly got to grips with his drug addiction.

Judge Greally revoked Beresford's bail and remanded him in custody until November 11 next for sentence. She ordered a probation report for that date.

Garda Niall Kennedy told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting, that a staff member from the casino was outside smoking when Beresford approached him and started complaining about the owners saying he had been let go for no reason.

While talking to Beresford, the man was told that another colleague was about to cash up so he headed to the office to help her. He was en-route to alert his employer to the fact that Beresford was hanging around when he spotted the accused in the casino.

The man told Beresford he wasn't allowed onto the premises but Beresford took a gun out of a bag, pointed it at him and grabbed him.

He told him he was robbing him and ordered him to go to the cash office. The female staff member was in the office at the time and Beresford gestured at the man to open the safe before he filled his bag with cash.

During the course of the raid Beresford noticed that a smaller safe was empty and commented that it was a bad night to do the robbery. He shook his former colleague's hand and said he knew he was going to jail but he just didn't care.

The man later told gardaí that Beresford was calm throughout the raid apart from when he spoke of the owner and when he showed him the gun. The €4,400 which was taken was never recovered.

Gda Kennedy agreed with Rebecca Smith BL, defending, that it was an unusual case as Beresford made no effort to disguise himself and it was obvious he was going to get caught.

Ms Smith said Beresford's sister was killed after being knocked down over seven years ago. His parents separated when he was 14 years old.

Counsel said Beresford had been abusing drugs for many years. He had four children ranging in age from 12 to 29 years old. He was married in 2012 to the mother of his youngest child.

This relationship later ended which Ms Smith said was “somewhat a catalyst for why he finds himself before the court today”.

She suggested to Judge Greally that Beresford had “deep rooted psychological issues that had never been dealt with” and that the robbery was out of character.