herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Robber raided two shops in five minutes to get cash to take his girlfriend out for Valentine's Day

The Eurospar shop in Applewood, which was targeted by armed raiders.
The Eurospar shop in Applewood, which was targeted by armed raiders.

A robber who raided two shops in five minutes in order to get cash to take his girlfriend out for Valentine’s night has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years.

Sean Powell (23) was arrested after gardai saw his getaway car outside a house. He was found hiding in a wardrobe in a bedroom when officers saw his feet sticking out from underneath some clothes.

Powell was considered unfit for interview for four hours after his arrest because he was so intoxicated.

He later said he robbed the shops because he was going “to bring my girlfriend out for Valentine’s”. Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that the couple, who have a daughter, got engaged last week.

Powell, of Wellview Park, Ladyswell, Dublin 15, pleaded guilty to the robbery of Eurospar and Carry Out Off Licence, both in Hartstown Shopping Centre, on January 27 last year.

He has seven previous convictions for minor offences.

Judge Martin Nolan accepted Powell was “a reasonably good man” when not abusing substances, but said he did not think a custodial sentence could be avoided.

He sentenced Powell to two-and-a-half years but suspended the final 18 months on strict conditions including that he remain under the supervision of the Probation Service for a year on his release from prison.

Gda Alan Barry told Cormac Quinn, prosecuting, that Powell took cash from the till in the Eurospar while the cashier was getting his change after he tried to buy cigarettes. He ran out of the shop, and when the assistant manager followed him he produced a knife to scare the man off. Powell later escaped in an Alfa Romeo.

Five minutes later he went into the off licence, produced a knife and threatened to stab the worker if he did not hand over cash. He took €375 and a bottle of whiskey.

Gda Barry agreed with Alice Harrison, defending, that Powell had no convictions prior to 2010 when his father died and he started to abuse alcohol and drugs.

Powell said he could not remember the three days prior to the robberies as he had been drinking and taking drugs.

He further accepted that he showed remorse and apologised to the staff of the shops.

hnews@herald.ie

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