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Thief on release raided pharmacy

A man who robbed a pharmacy while on compassionate prison release has been jailed for four years.

Bernard Kelly (32) of Ashtown Court, Ballybrack, pointed a pellet gun at "terrified" staff in the Medipharm pharmacy in Dundrum and demanded drugs and money.

Una Tighe, prosecuting, told the court that Kelly was on compassionate release because of his sick parents when he used a stolen car to carry out the robbery.

Kelly pleaded guilty to robbery at Arbourfield Terrace on December 13, 2011 and allowing himself to be carried in a stolen car at Springfield Avenue, Templeogue on December 14.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that, in March 2010, Kelly received a sentence of five years with two suspended, for two counts of attempted robbery.

Judge Desmond Hogan said that Kelly had fooled prison authorities into releasing him and then used a stolen car to commit a robbery.

Luigi Rea, defending, said that, when he was released from prison, Kelly was confronted with a former drug debt of €6,000 and forced to carry out the robbery.