Addict tried to rob Dublin tourist office and was “laughed out of the place”
A man who tried to rob a Dublin city centre tourist office told gardaí he was “laughed out of the place” before getting in the wrong getaway car, a court has heard.
Patrick Ryan (38) owed criminals a large drug debt due to his crystal meth addiction. Dublin Circuit Criminal Court was told these creditors drove Ryan around the city centre and made him commit robberies to repay the debt.
He is currently serving an eight year jail sentence imposed last year for committing 16 robberies over a 12 month period.
Judge Melanie Greally noted Ryan's long standing drug addiction and said she would not add to his “severe” sentence because the robberies she was dealing with were close in time to the ones he was jailed for.
She imposed a five year sentence with two years suspended and directed that it run alongside his current sentence.
Ryan of Friary Grove, Smithfield, Dublin pleaded guilty to robbery of Londis and attempted robbery of The Tourist Information Office, both on College Green on September 21, 2012. He also admitted possession of an imitation firearm.
Ryan was being driven around the city while being ordered to rob certain premises. He was ordered to rob a travel agents but refused because there were too many people in there. He was then told to rob the tourist office.
Garda Seamus O'Donovan told Ronan Kennedy BL, prosecuting, that two women were working in the office at about 5pm when Ryan walked in and took out a gun which he laid on the table. He demanded cash and one of the women told him they didn't have any.
Ryan left while laughing and saying “I'm only joking.” The women later told gardaí they were very frightened.
He went into the neighbouring Londis store, pointed the gun at the cashier and escaped with €400.
The gun was later found nearby. It turned out to be a toy gun which was wrapped in black tape to make it look more realistic.
Ryan got into a taxi outside but got out when he released it wasn't his getaway car. He got into the drug dealers' car and gave them the money.
They drove him home before giving him €50 and a rock of crystal meth. They told him to answer his phone the next day or they would petrol bomb his father's home, he later said.
He was arrested shortly after and made full admissions in interviews. Referring to the tourist office he said he had been “laughed out of the place”. However he went on to say he realised the shop workers must have been very frightened and wouldn't have known the gun was fake.
Ryan has 135 previous convictions including false imprisonment, burglary and aggravated burglary.