A MAN has been spared jail after a botched attempt to rob a bank in Dublin city centre.
Gary Broderick (42) pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the attempted robbery at Ulster Bank, College Green, on January 9, 2012.
The court heard Broderick was homeless, addicted to drugs and alcohol and leading a "chaotic life" at the time of the offence.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring took into account his efforts to rehabilitate himself and gave him a three-year sentence, suspended in full for 18 months.
Broderick, with an address at James Street, Dublin 8, has since been allocated housing through the homeless charity Focus Ireland.
During evidence given earlier, Gda Paul Burke said an imitation firearm was found abandoned at the door of the bank.
A woman in the bank saw Broderick coming in the door, realised what was happening and began screaming.
She heard someone saying "Get down, get down", so she crawled under a desk and called 999.
Gardai quickly arrived and a security man identified Broderick. He was also captured on CCTV.
Broderick was arrested and said he had wanted to see the bank authorities about an issue involving money.
He had been to the drug clinic en route to the bank and was unfit for interview at the time of arrest.
Broderick has 79 previous convictions, including road traffic offences and failing to appear in court.
The court heard he still has difficulties with alcohol but is no longer on methadone.
Judge Ring directed Broderick to continue to engage with housing groups, with his drug counsellor and to provide urine analysis. She also ordered him to comply with probation services for the next 18 months.