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Shop raider left prints on chocolate bar

A man who robbed a newsagent with an imitation gun was caught by gardai after leaving fingerprints on a chocolate bar in the shop.

Paul Campbell (32) picked up the chocolate bar to scan it because he couldn't get the cash register open.

Campbell, of Olney Crescent, Terenure, pleaded guilty yesterday at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery of €317 from the Londis on Bridge Street, Dublin at February 16, 2008.

Judge Patrick McCartan imposed an eight-year sentence but suspended the last three years. Detective Garda Shane Griffin told Noel Devitt, prosecuting, that Campbell entered the shop pointing the gun and demanding that the shop assistant open up the till.

He then pressed the imitation firearm to the "terrified" woman's chest and picked up a Kinder Bueno bar to scan it and open up the till.







Prison

When it opened he grabbed the cash inside and ran out the door. Gardai later found his fingerprints on the chocolate bar wrapping and identified Campbell as the robber.

The court heard that Campbell is currently serving a five-year prison term for drug-dealing offences that go back to 2006. He also has a conviction for unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.

Det Garda Griffin said Campbell had been heavily addicted to cocaine but that he had made a huge improvement while in prison.

Luigi Rea, defending, said his client apologised for his actions and that he didn't plan to terrorise the woman in the shop.

Judge McCartan backdated the sentence to November 2010 when Campbell was imprisoned for the drug-dealing conviction.

hnews@herald.ie