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Jail sentence for man who robbed cash-in-transit van with fake gun

CourtsBy Sunday World
Judge said the charge was too serious to release him to take up a residential place in a drug treatment centre
Judge said the charge was too serious to release him to take up a residential place in a drug treatment centre

A man who used a fake gun to rob €50,000 from a cash in transit van worker before being caught hiding behind a wheelie bin has been jailed for three years.

Trevor Cooke (40) with an address at Kilmahuddrick Walk, Clondalkin, Dublin pleaded guilty to robbing a cash box containing €50,000 at Bawnogue Post Office on October 3, 2013. He has 48 previous convictions

Last month Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard Cooke entered Bawnogue Post Office in Clondalkin while two G4S security guards were dropping off cash.

Garda Gareth Boyle told Garrett McCormack BL, prosecuting, that Cooke approached one of the men and held an imitation firearm to his face before ordering him to drop the box he was carrying.

Cooke then grabbed the box and made off in a car that had been reported stolen two weeks earlier.

Gda Boyle said Cooke was pursued by gardaí who were called to the scene.

“There was a traffic pursuit before Cooke abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot,” Gda Boyle said. “He was arrested in the rear garden of a house, where he was hiding behind a wheelie bin.”

Cooke was sprayed with pepper spray by one of the gardaí before he was arrested. Gda Boyle said a fake gun was retrieved from the car, along with the cash box.

“When the cash box was opened, a dye was emitted and all of the money was destroyed,” he said.

Judge Patricia Ryan had adjourned sentencing after hearing the evidence last month to today to allow a probation report be prepared.

She said that the charge before the court was too serious to release him to take up a residential place in a drug treatment centre which was available for him.

Judge Ryan took into account the efforts that Cooke has made to rehabilitate himself.

She imposed a six year sentence and suspended the final three years on strict conditions. She ordered he be given credit for time spent in custody on this matter.

At last month's hearing Padraig Dwyer, SC, defending, said his client had serious drug addiction issues but had undergone a “transformation” while in custody and had reduced his methadone dosage considerably.

“He wants to get his life together,” Mr Dwyer said, adding Cooke had been offered a place in a rehabilitation centre.