Man who committed robberies while on bail given six and a half year sentence
A 23-year-old man who committed robberies while on bail because he was “desperate” for money to repay drug debts has been given a six and a half year sentence.
Jordan Cunningham used knives and a broken bottle to frighten staff during some of the offences.
Cunningham, of Tom Kelly Flats, Charlemont Street, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary at Event Fuel, Canal Road, Ranelagh on July 19, 2015.
He also pleaded guilty to robbery at Tuttys corner shop, Mercer Street and at South Circular Pharmacy as well as attempted robbery at Cahills Pharmacy, Camden Street on July 22, 2015.
He committed those offences after his release on bail for the burglary days earlier.
Cunningham also pleaded guilty to robbery at Ladbrookes, Marine Road, Dun Laoghaire on October 22, 2015. He committed this offence after being released on high court bail to allow him attend for drug treatment.
Judge Melanie Greally noted Cunningham had lived a difficult and turbulent life with a drug addiction from an early age. She said these offences represented a marked escalation in the violence he was prepared to use to fund his drug dependency.
She imposed consecutive sentences totalling six and a half years and suspended the final year.
John Moher BL, defending, said Cunningham had a turbulent childhood and began smoking cannabis at the age of nine before progressing to harder drugs as a 14-years-old.
He said Cunningham long standing drug addiction was “operative” at the time of the offences and he was under pressure due to drug debts. He asked the court to take his admissions and apologies into account.
Counsel said Cunningham would require significant rehabilitation and has taken steps in that direction. He is using his time in custody well and completed a number of courses.
Garda Kevin Lennon told Fiona Murphy BL, prosecuting, that Cunningham was caught on July 19, 2015 after fleeing on foot with a cash register stolen from Event Fuel in Ranelagh and all the money was recovered. He was arrested and made full admissions.
Garda Ciaran Byrne outlined a number of offences that occurred on July 22, 2015 after Cunningham was released on bail.
At the South Circular Pharmacy Cunningham ran at a member of staff with a knife and demanded money and tablets. Staff opened the till and he took €300.
Later at a newsagents he made jabbing and stabbing motions with a broken bottle at a staff member before making off with cash.
Finally at another pharmacy he produced a large knife before demanding staff open the till. He ran off across the road and was pursued by a garda who happened to be in the area. Joggers assisted the garda in restraining Cunningham and he was arrested.
Cunningham told gardai that he had needed money because he owed bills and was not going to hurt anyone.
Gda Byrne agreed with Mr Moher that Cunningham told gardai he was desperate and owed money for a drug debt. Staff had said he looked sick or like a drug addict.
He was remanded in custody until October when he got high court bail to attend for drug treatment but was arrested shortly afterwards for another offence.
Garda Ciara Ennis said that on October 22, 2015 Cunningham used a large knife during a robbery at a bookmakers in Dun Laoghaire. He was identified by gardai on CCTV footage and arrested the following day.