A homeless man who handed a threatening note into a shop demanding €20,000 with further weekly instalments of €2,000 has been jailed for three years.
Brendan Glynn (31) had acted in an "impulsive, bizarre and outlandish" way to attempt to get money, said Aoife O'Leary, defending.
Glynn, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to demanding money with menaces at Spar, The Stiles Road, Clontarf, on July 16 last year.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard Glynn, who has 46 previous convictions, had no connection to serious criminality and had no way of carrying out his threats.
Gda Niall McDonnell told Fiona Crawford, prosecuting, that Glynn had entered the store with his face partially covered and handed in a typed note for the owner.
The note demanded €20,000 and €2,000 a week thereafter and contained threats including burning the shop down.
It warned the owner not to contact gardai and told him he was being watched.
The owner alerted gardai and Glynn was arrested two days later.
Ms O'Leary said Glynn had asked her to apologise to the victim.
She said the fact the note was typed showed some degree of effort, but said there had been no planning put into bringing it to fruition.
She said Glynn, originally from Sligo, had been staying with family in the Dublin area, but they were no longer able to accommodate him and he had been "on the street" at the time.
Ms O'Leary said drugs had been an issue for him since the age of 14, and he had been using heroin at the time of the offence.
Judge Melanie Greally said "the content of the letter was such that it would instil extreme fear in the most firm of persons by reference to the persons who were mentioned in the corres- pondence".
She gave Glynn credit for his guilty plea, said it was "not a sophisticated or particularly thought-out endeavour" and had been committed while in the throes of addiction.
Judge Greally imposed a four-year sentence, with the final 12 months suspended.
She ordered that Glynn follow all directions from the Probation Service, in particular to address his addictions.