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winner & Loo-ser Gambler's toilet brush with the law in hold-up of bookies


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Thomas Griffin

Thomas Griffin

CollinsPhotoAgency

Thomas Griffin

A man who threatened the staff of a bookmakers with a toilet brush handle during a robbery has received a fully suspended sentence.

Thomas Griffin (47) was a "regular" of the bookmakers and had bought chips for a woman working there on the same day as the robbery.

Griffin, of Ross Road, Dublin 8, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery at BoyleSports, Dame Street, Dublin 2, on July 15, 2018.

He had eight previous convictions, including for the possession of drugs.

Garda Grace Finnegan told the prosecution that the accused had followed a woman through a staff door in the bookmakers just before closing time and demanded money from another woman who was behind the till.

Gda Finnegan said Griffin was given a tray of notes and a bag of coins which contained €500 before he left.

No one was injured during the robbery and Griffin was identified on CCTV.

Griffin said he had been having serious issues with gambling and the offence was committed in the spur of the moment.

He said he got the toilet brush handle from a toilet in the bookmakers.

The court heard Griffin was well known to staff and had been sitting at one of the machines in the bookmakers for the whole day.

Gda Finnegan agreed with the defence that his client had given chips to a woman working in the bookmakers.

She agreed his client was a "regular" and apologised to the victims during his interview with gardaí.

Griffin said he thought he had left the toilet brush handle in a taxi.

Judge Elma Sheahan said the court was aware that the fact Griffin was familiar with the victims suggested he was "not in his right mind" when he committed the robbery.

Conditions

She said the Probation Service was impressed with his efforts to desist from gambling.

Judge Sheahan sentenced Griffin to two years' imprisonment, but suspended the entirety of the sentence for three years on strict conditions, including that he follow all directions of the Probation Service for 18 months.

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