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"Junkie" robber was caught after leaving a distinctive shoe print on the shop counter

O’Brien pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery at the shop
O’Brien pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery at the shop

A robber who was caught after he left a distinctive shoe print on a shop counter has been jailed for four years.

Derek O’Brien (33) threatened to stab the shop owner telling the man “I am a junkie. I am only out, I don’t care. I’ll stab you”. He then jumped over the counter and took €600 from the till.
 
O’Brien of Rosemount Estate, Dundrum, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery at the shop on Fortfield Park, Terenure on May 26, 2014.
 
He also has previous convictions for assault, theft, burglary and drug offences.
 
The court heard that O’Brien had in fact just been out of prison a few months when he raided the shop in Terenure.
 
He had been sentenced to five years with the final two and half years suspended for three separate robberies in July 2012 by Judge Martin Nolan. He was on the suspended portion of that sentence when he carried out this robbery.
 
Today, Judge Nolan re-activated two years of that suspended sentence and imposed a consecutive term of two years for this robbery.
 
Garda Keith Morrissey told Paul Carroll BL, prosecuting that he was on patrol in the Terenure area when he responded to an alarm going off at the shop.
 
O’Brien was nominated as a suspect after a colleague viewed CCTV footage of the raid. Officers also took a record of a distinctive shoe print that had been left behind on the counter.
 
The following day O’Brien was spotted on Aston Quay in Dublin city centre.
 
Gda Morrissey said he was wearing the same distinctive footwear and had €460 in his bag.
 
He was arrested but nothing of consequence came out of the subsequent garda interview.
 
Gda Morrissey agreed with Carol Doherty BL, defending, that her client had a drug habit but is now drug free having come off methadone himself.
 
Ms Doherty said O’Brien was heavily institutionalised and found himself committing crimes a short time having been released from prison.
 
Sonya McClean