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Virus terror Robber pulled down his mask and shouted 'coronavirus' at security guard during armed raid

He then approached the counter and demanded a shop assistant open the till, telling him that he was HIV positive when the shop assistant initially could not get the till open.

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Kevin Brosnan

Kevin Brosnan

Kevin Brosnan

A man pulled down his mask and shouted “Coronavirus” at a security guard he also threatened to kill during a knife-point robbery, a court has heard.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Kevin Brosnan (40) “capitalised on the fears and anxieties of the general public during a pandemic” by mentioning the virus during the robbery.

Brosnan of Ardmore Park, Tallaght, pleaded guilty to robbery at Centra, Old Bawn Shopping Centre, Tallaght, on April 2, 2020. His 82 previous convictions include convictions for burglary, theft, possession of knives and affray.

Garda Dillon O'Malley told Dara Hayes BL, prosecuting, that Brosnan entered the Centra shop armed with a knife, pulled down his mask and shouted “coronavirus” at a security guard working there.

He threatened the security guard and referred to him with a racial slur.

He then approached the counter and demanded a shop assistant open the till, telling him that he was HIV positive when the shop assistant initially could not get the till open.

As the shop assistant was putting money in a shopping bag for the accused, Brosnan repeatedly told the security guard he would kill him each time the guard attempted to approach. The guard made an attempt to block him as he left the store, but Brosnan pointed the knife at him and again threatened to kill him.

Brosnan was spotted by a member of the public shortly after the robbery and contacted gardaí, who arrived and arrested the accused. He was found to be in possession of €630 which was returned to the shop.

Gda O'Malley agreed with Sarah-Jane O'Callaghan BL, defending, that her client “capitalised on the fears and anxieties of the general public during a pandemic” by mentioning Coronavirus. He agreed with counsel that her client had employed a “shocking” racial slur towards the victim.

The garda agreed that Brosnan is disgusted with his actions and has expressed genuine remorse.

Judge Karen O'Connor ordered a report from the Probation Service and adjourned the matter for finalisation on March 23, next.

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