herald

Sunday 18 November 2018

Thief stole mobile phone from girl in spate of robberies

David Fetherston (31) pleaded guilty to carrying out robberies in various shops around north Dublin (stock photo)
David Fetherston (31) pleaded guilty to carrying out robberies in various shops around north Dublin (stock photo)

A man who stole a mobile phone from a teenage schoolgirl and went on to carry out six more robberies has been jailed for four years and ordered to stay away from his victims for 30 years.

David Fetherston (31), of Moatview Court, Priorswood, Dublin 17, was found guilty by a jury last July of one count of robbing a mobile phone from the girl on Malahide Road, Coolock, on March 7, 2013.

After the trial, he pleaded guilty to a further six counts of carrying out robberies in various shops around north Dublin in August and September 2016, including the same off-licence three times in two weeks.

A knife was brandished on a number of occasions.

James Dwyer, prosecuting, previously told the court that Fetherston's mobile phone robbery victim found the trial experience very difficult.

The court heard Fetherston had an outburst during his trial, which led to his young victim having "concerns".

Sentencing Fetherston yesterday, Judge Patricia Ryan ordered him to stay away from all of his victims for a period of 30 years.

She noted that many of his offences were "crimes of violence".

However, she accepted he was remorseful, has accepted his guilt, is doing well in custody and has rehabilitated himself from drugs.

She backdated the sentence to last July, when Fetherston went into custody.

The trial heard the girl was on her way home from school on a bus when Fetherston approached her and robbed her mobile phone.

Emmet Nolan, defending, said his client now accepts the verdict of the jury.

He said Fetherston has spent two of the past three years in custody for previous offences.

Mr Nolan said that at the time of the offence, Fetherston was addicted to heroin. In the lead-up to his trial for this offence, he became drug-free and is now a prisoner with enhanced privileges for good behaviour.

Desperate

The lawyer said his client left school at the age of 15 and had a troubled background. He became addicted to drugs at the age of 16.

Fetherston's actions were committed by a "desperate drug addict who was desperate to get money to get more drugs".

In relation to Fetherston's outburst at trial, Mr Nolan said his client was "distressed at the result" and "acted in a manner that was entirely inappropriate".

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