a MOTHER-OF-TWO who acted as the getaway driver in two robberies and an attempted robbery has received a two-year suspended sentence.
Amanda Murphy (28), of Bride Street, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two charges of acting to impede the apprehension or prosecution of someone knowing they were responsible for a robbery and an attempted robbery on October 8, 2011.
She has no previous convictions and her barrister, Bernard Condon SC, submitted to the court that she was vulnerable at the time due to a drug addiction.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring had adjourned the case, having heard evidence initially last February and again in July to give Murphy more time to cooperate with the Probation Service.
She said it was a serious offence and Murphy had played an essential role in the raids.
Yesterday, Judge Ring said it had been her intention to impose a jail term, but she noted from an updated probation report that Murphy has since attended all appointments and is now on a methadone maintenance programme.
"She has begun to address the issues in a more positive fashion according to the Probation Service," the judge said before she suspended a two-and-a-half-year jail term on strict conditions including probation supervision.
Gda Paul O'Hanlon told Garnet Orange BL, prosecuting, at the sentence hearing in February that two men entered a convenience store in Harolds Cross on October 8, 2011, brandishing an imitation firearm.
They left the shop without stealing anything and fled in a waiting getaway car.
Later that day, the same men raided a Centra store on Lower Kimmage Road, Terenure, where they stole €100.
A few hours later, a woman was mugged and had her phone taken while she was walking in Ballsbridge. She had been confronted by a man armed with an imitation firearm.
Gda O'Hanlon said officers on patrol in College Green on October 8, 2011 spotted a Ford Focus in Trinity Street.
The vehicle was parked dangerously and there was movement in the back. When the officers checked, they spotted the imitation firearm on the back seat and the three occupants were arrested.
Murphy was sitting in the driver's seat. The young female victim's mobile phone and a balaclava were also found in the car.
Murphy later told gardai that she had agreed to drive the getaway car after being asked by one of the men.
Gda O'Hanlon accepted that was the extent of Murphy's involvement.
She said she did not know there was an imitation firearm involved and the garda accepted that she received no payment for her role.
One of the men has since received a partly-suspended three-year term while the other received an 18-month suspended sentence.
Mr Condon said his client has made huge progress to deal with her addiction and has not come to garda attention since.