NewsCourts

Man who robbed bookies was arrested drinking pints a short time later

Richard Comerford had pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of an imitation firearm at Boylesports
Richard Comerford had pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of an imitation firearm at Boylesports

A man who robbed a bookmakers and was arrested a short time later while drinking pints in a pub on the same street, has had his sentence increased by the Court of Appeal.

Richard Comerford (55), of no fixed abode, had pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery and possession of an imitation firearm at Boylesports bookmakers on Capel Street, Dublin in January 2009.

He was sentenced to five years imprisonment with the final two suspended by Judge Mary Ellen Ring on February 5 2014.

The Director of Public Prosecutions succeeded on a previous occasion in arguing that Comerford's sentence was “unduly lenient”.

The court had heard on that occasion that Comerford was arrested shortly after the robbery while sitting in a pub on Capel Street with his co-accused drinking pints.

Speaking on behalf of the Court of Appeal today, Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan said the three-judge court had found Comerford's sentence to be unduly lenient in light of his 66 previous convictions.

On any view, Mr Justice Sheehan said, the court must increase Comerford's sentence by two years even if the court was not obliged to impose a mandatory five year sentence in respect of the firearm offence.

Accordingly, Mr Justice Sheehan, who sat with President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice Seán Ryan and Mr Justice George Birmingham, set aside Comerford's original sentence and imposed a new sentence of five years imprisonment on him from the same date.

Ruaidhrí Giblin