No jail for security guard who tied up and robbed his boss
A shop security guard who tied up his boss and robbed the day’s takings on a whim has avoided a jail sentence.
Paul Ryan (50) who has no previous criminal record and worked as a security guard for eight years, told gardai he was stressed out from family life and was drinking around the time of the crime.
After taking €22,145 from the safes of Hodges Figgis on Dawson Street in Dublin city centre, he took the day manager, Ciara Flanagan, to the shop’s cloak room where he bound her hands and legs up with tape.
Ryan, formerly of North Strand Road, Dublin then left the capital for a month, sleeping rough and spending the stolen cash on drink and betting, the court heard.
Garda Sergeant Paul Burke said that Ryan went to race meets in Limerick and in Mallow, Co Cork. After all the cash was spent he returned to the capital and handed himself into gardai.
Today Ryan pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery on March 23, 2014. A charge of false imprisonment was taken into consideration for sentencing.
Judge Catherine Murphy backdated a four year prison sentence to April 24 2014, when Ryan handed himself into gardai and went into custody.
She suspended the balance of the sentence on condition that he keep the peace and address his gambling and alcohol addictions with the Probation Services.
Sgt Burke told Kerida Naidoo BL, prosecuting, that Ms Flanagan had worked for the book store for two decades and knew Mr Ryan since he began doing the security there a year before the robbery.
Ryan had been working “as normal" on the afternoon of the offence and about half an hour before the shop closed at 6pm he “took a notion” to take the money, the court heard.
Sgt Burke said that part of Ryan’s duty was to protect Ms Flanagan while she was closing tills and moving the cash into the shop’s safes upstairs. After he had locked up the front of the shop and she had made sure there was no one left on any of the shop’s floors, he went with her to the cash office.
After she opened up the cash safe and had began moving the cash into it, Ryan said to her in a quiet voice: “Come Ciara, come over here and sit down.”
He repeated the request and she didn’t understand but she sat down. He told her quietly that he wasn’t going to hurt her but she told gardaí later that she was frightened.
She noticed he had a brown roll of tape and she realised she was going to be taped up. After bagging the day’s takings and the week’s float from the safe he told her to come downstairs.
He told her to sit down on the floor of the cloak room and he taped her hands and legs. He asked was it tight and she said it was. He then told her to wait half an hour before doing anything and he left.
The victim told gardai that she was in shock and it felt surreal. She waited five minutes before freeing herself and raising the alarm.
After handing himself in a month later Ryan admitted everything. He said that apart from a €500 loan he didn’t owe any debts. He said he bound Ms Flanagan to stop her raising the alarm and he accepted that she must have been afraid.
The woman is still working but is more nervous in her work, the court heard. A victim impact report handed into the judge was not read out. Judge Murphy said it was a very serious offence which had a “very very serious effect” on the woman.
Sandra Frayne BL, defending, had previously asked for her client to be assessed for a gambling addiction.
A report from the prison governor said that Ryan has been a model prisoner while in custody.