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Man who killed his own brother jailed for robbing casino where he used to work

William Beresford (Pic Herald)
William Beresford (Pic Herald)

A convicted killer who robbed the casino he used to work in after threatening his former colleagues with a pellet gun has been sentenced to four years in jail, with the final 18 months suspended.

William Beresford (45) was convicted of manslaughter in 1999 after he killed his brother during a fight. His counsel suggested to the court at the time that as Beresford's brother was armed with a knife that fell during the course of the altercation, it was a case of self-defence.

Beresford of Kippure Park, Finglas, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery at the Station's Sport Club, Amiens Street on August 20, 2015. His 28 previous convictions, apart from the manslaughter conviction, were all for minor District Court offences.

William Beresford in 1999

Beresford handed himself into gardaí four days after the robbery in August last year. He said he was embarrassed. He was sorry for what he had done but he needed the money for drugs.

Judge Melanie Greally previously said it was very hard to get away from the fact that Beresford had used a pellet gun to threaten people he knew who had been good to him in the past.

Sentencing Beresford today/yesterday (FRIDAY), Judge Greally said he had made “remarkable strides in conquering his addiction” and was now drug-free.

The judge also noted that he had some “very tragic circumstances in his previous history”.

“However, it was a very serious offence indeed, involving the use of what, to all intents and purposes of those present, seemed to be a firearm,” Judge Greally said.

She handed down a four-year sentence but suspended the final 18 months on a number of conditions, including that Beresford engage with probation services for a period of two years

Garda Niall Kennedy previously told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting, that a staff member from the casino was outside smoking when Beresford approached him and started complaining about the owners, saying he had been let go for no reason.

While talking to Beresford, the man was told that another colleague was about to cash up so he headed to the office to help her. He was en-route to alert his employer to the fact that Beresford was hanging around when he spotted the accused in the casino.

The man told Beresford he wasn't allowed onto the premises but Beresford took a gun out of a bag, pointed it at him and grabbed him.

He told him he was robbing him and ordered him to go to the cash office. The female staff member was in the office at the time and Beresford gestured at the man to open the safe before he filled his bag with cash.

During the course of the raid Beresford noticed that a smaller safe was empty and commented that it was a bad night to do the robbery. He shook his former colleague's hand and said he knew he was going to jail but he just didn't care.

The man later told gardaí that Beresford was calm throughout the raid apart from when he spoke of the owner and when he showed him the gun. The €4,400 which was taken was never recovered.

Gda Kennedy agreed with Rebecca Smith BL, defending, that it was an unusual case as Beresford made no effort to disguise himself and it was obvious he was going to get caught.

Ms Smith said Beresford's sister was killed after being knocked down over seven years ago. His parents separated when he was 14 years old.

Counsel said Beresford had been abusing drugs for many years. He had four children ranging in age from 12 to 29 years old. He was married in 2012 to the mother of his youngest child.

This relationship later ended which Ms Smith said was “somewhat a catalyst for why he finds himself before the court today”.

She suggested Beresford had “deep rooted psychological issues that had never been dealt with” and that the robbery was out of character.