herald

Saturday 19 August 2017

Raider held a fake gun up to woman's head

A MAN who held a toy gun to a woman's head and demanded the takings from her hair salon has been remanded in custody pending sentence for this and similar offences.

Brian Cullen (49), who has 171 previous convictions, told Judge Desmond Hogan that he never mugged the woman, but he pleaded guilty to it.

"I would never hold a gun to a woman's head. I never held a gun in my life," Cullen said.

He said he had a 30-year heroin addiction and he was trying to get help for it in prison.

Cullen, of Mountainview Park, Rathfarnham, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to three robberies, an attempted robbery, burglary, possession of an imitation firearm and two charges of taking a car on dates between March and December 2011.

The court heard that Cullen took a total of €1,123, which included €450 from the woman's takings, €120 from an Xtravision on Orwell Road in Rathgar and €553 from Boyle Sports in Sheriff Street.

In the raids Cullen threatened staff with either a syringe or a knife but no weapon was ever produced and nobody was injured. He was arrested after gardai viewed CCTV footage of the raids.



carrier

Judge Hogan adjourned the case to allow for urine analysis to prove that Cullen was dealing with his drug addiction.

Det Garda Gabriel Duffy told Martina Baxter, prosecuting, that Cullen, in a stolen black people carrier, followed the woman as she waited for a lift home.

He demanded that she give him her handbag, which she did, and ran off. There was €450 in cash in the bag.

The vehicle was later found abandoned nearby. Cullen was discovered in a front garden and arrested.

In interview he admitted that he had produced a toy gun but denied that he held it to the woman's head. He offered his apologies to the woman.

Garda Whelan told Ms Baxter that a Toyota Avensis was stolen from outside a gym in Rathfarnham after Cullen broke into changing rooms and took the car keys from the owner's jacket pocket.

Gardai viewed CCTV footage from the gym and staff assisted them in identifying Cullen.

Four days later he robbed the Xtravision in Rathgar and gardai responding to the panic alarm followed Cullen in the Avensis and arrested him.

hnews@herald.ie

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