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Dublin man who robbed €100k worth of Rolex, Cartier watches loses appeal against sentence

Carabini to the theft of 28 Rolex and 18 Cartier watches worth more than €100,000
Carabini to the theft of 28 Rolex and 18 Cartier watches worth more than €100,000

A Dublin man sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in stealing more than €100,000 worth of watches from a jewellers has lost an appeal against sentence.

Gavin Carabini (31), of Our Lady's Road, Maryland, Dublin 8, had pleaded guilty at Galway Circuit Criminal Court to the theft of 28 Rolex and 18 Cartier watches worth more than €100,000 at Hartmann Jewellers in the city on November 28 2008.

He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment with the final 18 months suspended by Judge Rory McCabe on November 13 2013.

Carabini moved to appeal his sentence today in the Court of Appeal on grounds that the sentence was unduly harsh and disproportionate.

However, dismissing his appeal, Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan said the way in which the sentencing judge approached the matter was “exemplary”.

Giving background, Mr Justice Sheehan said three men brandishing a hand gun and iron bars enterd the premises at 1.10pm on the date in question wearing dark hoodies and scarves over ther faces.

The raider with the hand gun, who was not Carabini, told one female staff member to get down on the floor or he'd shoot her, Mr Justice Sheehan said.

They proceeded to smash a glass cabinet and filled a pillow with 28 Rolex and 18 Cartier watches worth more than €100,000 before departing.

Four female workers were in the shop along with one customer. The owner was threatened and one worker was kicked a number of times in the head, the judge said, while the customer suffered severe shock which required the calling of an ambulance.

Having been in the shop for one minute, the raiders left and got into a navy BMW driven by a fourth man, Mr Justice Sheehan said.

The vehicle sped off before colliding with another motorist. They got out of the vehilce at Wood Quay and got into two separate cars.

Following an intensive search by gardaí Carabini was found in a wooded area and arrested, Mr Justice Sheehan said.

Carabini is a married man with two children and 63 previous convictions, Mr Justice Sheehan said.

The sentencing judge described the armed robbery as serious involving careful preparation and determined action. Thankfully, execution of the robbery was not careful enough to escape garda detection and the gardaí had to be congratulated, the sentencing judge had said.

It caused considerable financial loss and involved wanton disregard for human life, he had said. Furthermore, the cost to the taxpayer of apprehending the accused was considerable.

Mr Justice Sheehan said the sentencing judge identified 14 years as the appropriate starting point bearing in mind the maximum sentence available was life imprisonment.

This was mitigated to 10 years and in the hope that Carabini would be rehabilitated, the judge suspended the final 18 months.

The sentencing judge regarded Carabini's role as integral and necessary in every step of the offence, Mr Justice Sheehan said. While he was not the person wielding the gun he was just as guilty as the person who had.

While it was clear that the offence was placed at a particularly high level, the seriousness and the aggravating factors were such that the sentencing judge was entitled to do so.

Mr Justice Sheehan said the approach taken by the trial judge was “exemplary”.

Accordingly, Mr Justice Sheehan, who sat with Mr Justice George Birmingham and Mr Justice Alan Mahon, dismissed the appeal.