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Man robbed shop with BB gun in desperate attempt to pay debt, court hears

Man robbed shop with BB gun in desperate attempt to pay debt, court hears

A man took part in a robbery armed with a “BB gun” in a desperate attempt to repay a debt after being held responsible for the loss of a large quantity of drugs, a court has heard.

Alan Daly (39), who had previously been abducted and seriously assaulted by the criminals, had been contacted that day and told if he did not have money by 10pm there would be consequences.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard he kept “sketch” at the door of a store while a co-accused, armed with a knife, attempted to get staff to open the tills. The two escaped empty handed and were arrested nearby.

Daly, of Whitestown Gardens, Mulhuddart, Dublin pleaded guilty to attempted robbery at Dunnes Stores, Ongar Village on March 13, 2016.

Daly, who has 13 previous convictions, also pleaded guilty to possession of an imitation firearm with intent to commit robbery, unlawful taking of a car and driving without insurance on the same date.

Garda Peter Foley told Fiona Murphy BL, prosecuting, that Daly, armed with the imitation firearm and a co-accused armed with a knife came running into the store with balaclavas on.

Daly remained at the door, keeping it open, and pointed his weapon at the security guard while his co-accused ran over to the till.

Staff at the tills alerted each other that a robbery was taking place by shouting a code word and ran from the area.

The man with the knife shouted at a staff member to give him the keys to open the tills but she threw them on the floor before running to hit the panic button to alert gardai.

Daly and his co-accused fled the store empty handed.

They were pursued by the security guard who kept gardai updated as the men ran to a car. The security guard got into a patrol car when it arrived and was able to point the getaway car out to gardai.

Gardai intercepted the car, driven by Daly, and arrested the two men. Gardai recovered the imitation firearm, a large kitchen knife and balaclava from the car.

The imitation firearm was a “BB gun” designed to discharge plastic projectiles and was found to be in poor condition. The car had been taken from outside its owners house earlier that day.

Gda Foley agreed with Anne Marie Lawlor BL, defending, that Daly had not gone further than the door and had been “keeping sketch.” He agreed there had not been any physical contact with staff.

Ms Lawlor said Daly had been held responsible by criminals for the loss of a large quantity of drugs and called upon to repay the debt.

She said he had been seriously assaulted by these people in the past. She said he had committed the offence in desperation having taken alcohol and tablets.

Counsel said Daly had been in the throes of chronic addiction but was now drug free and had used his 15 months in custody since the offence productively.

She said he had been making very real and determined efforts at rehabilitation.

Judge Karen O'Connor adjourned sentencing until next week to allow her consider the case and read reports handed into court.