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Knife-wielding robber committed two thefts while out on bail

CourtsBy Sunday World
Carroll pleaded guilty to five counts of robbery
Carroll pleaded guilty to five counts of robbery

A knife-wielding robber who was released on bail twice only to commit further robberies has been sentenced to six years with the final two years suspended.

Jamie Carroll (33) of Cre na Mara, Wexford Road, Arklow, Co Wicklow was charged on November 20 2014 at Arklow Garda Station with two robberies that took place a week earlier in Dublin. He was released on station bail after admitting to the robberies.

He robbed another shop in Enniscorthy two days later, fleeing when a staff member gave chase to recover the money he had taken. Gardaí later found him hiding in a bush.

He was again arrested, charged and remanded in custody pending sentencing but was granted bail on March 30 2015 to allow him attend a residential drug treatment program.

However he was not admitted to the program as he was intoxicated. He robbed another shop at knifepoint on April 8 2015.

On each occasion he was armed with a knife. Carroll has 121 previous convictions, primarily driving and public order offences but also including assault, theft and forgery.

Colman Fitzgerald SC, defending, told Judge Sarah Berkeley at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that Carroll has been a heroin user from the age of 14.

Carroll pleaded guilty to five counts of robbery, at Day 2 Day, Military Road, on November 11 2014 and Boyle Sports, Oliver Plunkett Road, Monkstown on the same date; at Bus Stop Shop, Enniscorthy on November 22, 2014; and at Londis, Foxrock Avenue on April 8 2015.

Mr Fitzgerald told Judge Berkeley that no actual violence had been used in the robberies which were committed in each case to feed his drug habit. He said both Carroll's parents were heroin addicts and Carroll was first inducted to criminality by his own father.

Asking Judge Berkeley to suspend a portion of his sentence, Mr Coleman said that Carroll was now drug-free for the first time in many years and presented clean urine analysis reports to that effect.

Judge Berkeley said the robberies had been carried out during a chaotic lifestyle of drug abuse and he had been armed with “a serious weapon”. She acknowledged that nobody was injured but said staff members were threatened.

The judge described Carroll as having a “prolific history of offending” and noted that the crimes had been committed to feed a heroin addiction. She suspended the final two years of the sentence having taken into account his remorse and co-operation with the garda investigation.

Garda Stephen Ryan told Caroline Cummings BL, prosecuting that Carroll entered the Day 2 Day shop at lunchtime on November 11 2014 carrying a knife with a 12 inch blade and demanded money.

Carroll said “it's nothing personal, come on open it or I'll have to stab you.” Shopkeeper Bernie Halligan unsuccessfully attempted to fend Carroll off by spraying Deep Heat in his face.

At 6pm that evening he entered Boylesports in Monkstown and threatened two staff members with a knife. They handed over €450.

Gardaí later identified Carroll from CCTV of the two incidents. When interviewed by gardaí about the day's incidents, Carroll said he had been awake for four days on “bubble”, a headshop drug.

Garda Paul Kelly of Enniscorthy Garda Station gave evidence of the incident on November 22. Carroll entered the Bus Stop Shop in Enniscorthy knife in hand and demanded money from the till. He got away with €1,470 in cash and cheques worth €1,150.

He was chased by a member of staff and gardaí and was soon found hiding in some shrubbery in a nearby carpark. The money and knife were recovered.

On April 8 2015, nine days after his release from custody, Carroll was a passenger in a car on his way to get heroin when he asked the driver to stop at Londis in Foxrock.

He entered the shop, produced a knife and demanded money from members of staff.

Garda Joanne Holohan told Ms Cummings that Carroll left the shop with €590 and got back in the car. He told gardaí that the driver did not know what he was doing and that he spent all the money on heroin.