Monday 22 January 2018

Honest husband who turned to drugs in his 40s robbed bookies

A Dublin man who developed a heroin addiction in his late 40s after leading an honest life has been sentenced to six years with the final two suspended for a string of robberies.

Christopher Dorman (48) had planned to live in Malta with his wife but wasted their savings on gambling, panicked and tried to get his money back by robbing a Balbriggan bookie.

Sergeant PJ Maguire revealed that Dorman's wife had been in a hotel across the road from the bookmakers while he lost their money.

Dorman returned in a panic, grabbed a large knife and robbed €1,785 from the bookie's manager across the road.

Dorman, of Harold's Cross Road, Harold's Cross, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbing Paddy Powers Bookmakers, Balbriggan at knife-point on January 13, 2008. He also pleaded guilty to robbing an Aungier Street clothes shop of €160, a nearby Bagel Factory of €230 and the Pig and Heifer cafe of €150 on dates between November 7 and 11, 2009.

Dorman further pleaded guilty to burglary with a weapon on March 29, 2010 at Whitehall Road West. He has no previous convictions.

Sgt PJ Maguire told Ms Anne-Marie Lawlor, prosecuting, that Dorman waited until the last customer had left Paddy Power before producing his knife and demanding money.


The manager, Michelle Damon, told Dorman that the shop's safe was on a 20-minute time-lock but that he could take the coin drawers and a bundle of loose notes. Ms Damon and another staff member managed to lock themselves into the back kitchen before the intruder left with €1,785.

Sgt Maguire said colleagues in Killarney arrested Dorman five days later and he admitted his role in the robbery.

Dorman explained he had been gambling and had lost his wife's savings. He apologised "wholeheartedly" and said he was disgusted with himself.

Sgt Maguire agreed with Mr John Paul Browne, defending, that his client had been genuinely remorseful and was always "mannerly" when dealing with gardai.

He further agreed that Dorman had lost between €4,000 and €8,000 over six hours betting that day and had decided in a panic to rob the bookmakers without his wife knowing.

Dorman told gardai his crimes were "out of character" and that he had not touched drugs until his mid-forties.

Counsel submitted that his client was "bewildered" at how he'd found himself in trouble with the law after a hardworking, honest life.

Dorman has set up a Narcotics Anonymous group in prison with fellow inmates and holds regular meetings. He has also been painting and decorating on a prison landing.


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