Scratch me if you can | 

Pictured: Dim-witted thief caught after cashing in €5k scratch card he’d stolen using toy gun

Wayne Sullivan (38) was jailed after putting his name and address on winning ticket that he cashed-in afer stealing it during robbery at Spar supermarket

Wayne Sullivan, seen here posing at a shooting range, used a toy gun for the robbery

Wayne Sullivan

Patrick O'ConnellSunday World

These are the first pictures of the dim-witted thief nabbed by gardaí after he cashed-in a €5,000-winning scratch card he’d stolen from his local Spar using a toy gun.

Dublin Circuit Court heard this week how Wayne Sullivan (38), from Beauvale Park in Artane, wrote his name and address on the back of the winning card before cashing it in at the GPO.

Sullivan was jailed for a year-and-a-half on Wednesday, after he pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbing a Spar shop in Coolock on January 12th, 2021.

Our pictures show gun-loving criminal Sullivan posing for pictures at a shooting range in June of 2017.

Notably, he lists his occupation on his social media profile as having “just went that way at barrister-at-law Dublin.”

Wayne Sullivan

Details of Sullivan’s foolhardy plot to scoop a jackpot emerged during a sentencing hearing this week during which gardaí described him as not “rating high on the list of criminal intelligentsia”.

The court heard Sullivan took a taxi from his home to the Spar shop, asked the taxi driver to do a U-turn and wait for him. He went into the shop and, armed with a plastic gun poking out of his pocket, took cash and scratch cards.

A member of staff later told gardaí that she thought the item looked like a child’s toy, but she was afraid and didn’t want to take a chance. After the hold-up Sullivan got the taxi to drop him home.

Detective Garda John Delaney agreed with counsel for the defence that he “wouldn’t rate Sullivan high on the list of criminal intelligentsia”.

He further agreed that Sullivan was “very quiet and calm” throughout his robbery of the Spar shop.

Gda Delaney told Diarmuid Collins BL, prosecuting, that the shop assistant at the till in Spar noticed a man who seemed nervous coming into the shop at around 8pm on the evening in question.

She said the man came quietly to the till, placed a Dunnes Stores bag-for-life on the counter and passed her a note which read, “Do not f**k up. Do not f**k up.”

When the teller read the note and looked up at Sullivan, he showed her the tip of what looked like a plastic gun poking out of his pocket.

She put some cash totalling €126 into Sullivan’s bag, and when he told her that there were more coins under the counter, she added in a few bags of coins.

The court heard that Sullivan then indicated some of the higher value scratch cards, so the teller grabbed various ten-euro scratch cards and put them in the bag too.

Sullivan then left the shop quietly and the teller pressed the alarm button to alert gardaí. Three days later, O’Sullivan went to the GPO and cashed in one of the scratch cards which had won €5,000.

When gardaí used the barcodes to trace the winning card, they found Sullivan had written his name and address on the back.

Gardaí searched Sullivan’s home under warrant and found the clothing he had worn during the robbery. A facemask left in the Spar was found to contain Sullivan’s DNA.

The taxi-driver who dropped Sullivan to and from the robbery told gardaí his suspicions were aroused when Sullivan asked him to do a U-turn outside the shop and wait for him.

The taxi-driver said Sullivan appeared to hesitate and build up his courage before entering the shop, and afterwards seemed to be in a hurry on leaving.

Sullivan has 40 previous convictions, all from the District Court, including traffic offences, public order and theft.

Cathal McGrail BL, defending, said Sullivan had been addicted to tablets but was now clean of drugs and very keen to get out of prison and into residential treatment.

Judge Martin Nolan said even though Sullivan arrived at the Spar shop with some hesitation and the robbery was “very understated”, it had still involved the threat of violence.

“His card came up trumps, he cashed it, the money was spent,” said Judge Nolan, handing down a sentence of two-and-a -half years.

The judge suspended the final year of the sentence and backdated it to March 18 this year, when Sullivan went into custody on other matters.

The €5,000 won by Sullivan with the scratch card has not been recovered.

Today's Headlines

More Irish Crime

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos