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Sunday 22 January 2017

Chainsaw robbery man 'acted out of character' due to drug debt

(stock photo: Depositphotos)
(stock photo: Depositphotos)

A man who robbed an Apache Pizza outlet with a chainsaw-wielding accomplice was acting completely out of character to pay off a drug debt, a court has heard.

Craig Dempsey's DNA was discovered on a blood-stained till and on an Adidas hoodie that were discovered in wasteland by gardai in the wake of the robbery last year.

A total of €2,535 was taken from the pizza outlet, Garda Niall Russell told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Dempsey (25), with an address in Allenton Road, Tallaght, pleaded guilty to robbing Apache Pizza in Old Bawn Shopping Centre, Tallaght, on September 6, 2015.

His co-accused remains before the courts.

Dempsey also pleaded guilty to robbing a Spar store in Ballycullen, and producing a broken bottle in the course of the offence, on July 20, 2015. He will be sentenced on April 4, 2017.

Gda Russell told Lisa Dempsey, prosecuting, that a staff member was preparing to close the restaurant in the early hours of the morning when Dempsey and another man, who was carrying an electric chainsaw, ran into the store shouting "money, money".

The other man turned the chainsaw on while Dempsey jumped over the counter and threw the till on the ground.

The pair then fled with the till and were spotted by a taxi driver making off into nearby wasteland. Gardai searched the wasteland and found the till and hoodie, before Dempsey was recognised from CCTV footage.

Cocaine

He has three previous convictions, including one for ­burglary.

Defence barrister Sorcha Whelan said Dempsey had debts due to a cocaine habit at the time of the offence.

He has since moved from Dublin to Mayo to live with his sister and her family, the court heard.

Ms Whelan said Dempsey had stopped taking cocaine, but is still using cannabis.

Judge Melanie Greally ­accepted Dempsey was remorseful and was acting out of character at the time of the offences.

She gave Dempsey one last chance to engage with probation services in Mayo.

"Your fate is in your hands," said the judge.

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