Addict jailed for stick-up using meat thermometer
A man who robbed a petrol station while armed with a meat thermometer has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.
Stephen Doherty (50) was high on heroin when he stole €200 in cash from an Applegreen service station at Baldoyle, Dublin, before accosting a woman outside and trying to rob her too, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard yesterday.
He later told gardai he carried out the robbery to help pay for his mother's funeral.
Doherty, of Blakestown Road, Mulhuddart, Dublin, pleaded guilty to one count of robbery and one of attempted robbery at the station last October 31.
Gda Marie Geraghty told John Fitzgerald, prosecuting, that a worker was behind the till at around 4pm on the day in question when Doherty approached him and calmly said: "I know the camera is on me and I know about the button at your leg, so don't be pressing anything."
The worker saw Doherty was holding what he initially thought was an ice pick, but which was later discovered to be a meat thermometer.
Doherty brandished the thermometer and ordered the man to open the till, telling him: "Don't do anything stupid or I'll kill you."
The worker then handed over the cash.
Outside the petrol station, Doherty encountered a woman and accosted her in an apparent attempt to rob her too. She managed to get away from him.
Gardai were called and Doherty was arrested shortly afterwards. He had 62 previous convictions, including theft, burglary and misuse of drugs.
Defence barrister Eoin Hardiman said his client had struggled with a heroin addiction since he was a young man. He said he managed to detox in 2010 but had occasionally relapsed since then.
Mr Hardiman said his client's mother died before the offence and he was the only member of his family unable to contribute to the funeral costs, so the robbery was an attempt to pay for it.