Toy gun raider fell off his bike in getaway
A MAN who used a toy gun to rob a Spar before fleeing on his bicycle with the shop's till has received a seven-year sentence for the raid and two similar offences.
The court heard that Noel Kinsella (37) had earlier stolen the gun from children.
He tried to get away on his bicycle but the weight of the cash drawer made him lose his balance and he fell over several times before dropping the toy gun. Members of the public held Kinsella until he was arrested.
Kinsella, of St Anthony's Road, in Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to three counts of robbery between September 2010 and February 2011.
Judge Desmond Hogan suspended the final three years of Kinsella's sentence on condition he completes a drug treatment programme.
Kinsella has 95 previous convictions, including 15 for robbery and 11 for theft and fraud. He claimed he had committed the robberies to pay off drug debts and to feed his habit.
Garda John Walsh told prosecuting counsel John Fitzgerald that Kinsella had robbed a Topaz garage in Terenure on September 3, 2010. The court heard he walked up to the counter just after 4pm and produced a large kitchen knife while shouting: "Give me all the money or I'll kill you."
Garda Walsh told the court that Kinsella then tried to leave the garage but a customer held the door shut, trapping him inside. He returned to the counter, which prompted the shop keeper to lock himself in the back room "in fear of his life".
The court heard that Kinsella got away with €350 but was later arrested.
Garda Eoin Carroll said that on the October 15, 2010, Kinsella and another man robbed €8,890 from a Nationwide Building Society on Merrion Street in Dublin. His accomplice was armed with a knife and shouted: "This is a raid. Give me the f****** money."
CCTV from a nearby Burger King was used to identify Kinsella, who admitted to the robbery.
Garda Eoin Kelly said Kinsella had also robbed a Spar in Dolphin's Barn on February 26, 2011 using a toy gun he had stolen from some children.