Judge stresses Byrne couldn’t have known consequences
SENTENCING BYRNE to four years Judge Michael O'Shea said Byrne was the driver of the van while another person carrying a knife carried out the robbery.
He said a knife was put to Ms. Kay O'Connor's face during the course of the robbery which ‘would have been frightening to the extreme'.
He said Byrne and the other youth had ‘cased' the shop prior to the robbery and Byrne had parked around the corner ‘so the van could be used as a getaway van'.
He said Byrne ‘appears to have been recruited and was not involved in the planning. I am satisfied that in respect of the robbery Byrne was in a lesser category.
‘However, the driver plays an important link firstly by driving to but also driving away from the crime. This is of substantial benefit to the person who carries out the robbery.
‘ This was a serious offence and his (Byrne's) involvement was as the driver of the van. He was aware the other person had a knife when travelling to the robbery and when leaving the van, however, I must stress he couldn't have been aware of the consequences which subsequently happened.
‘He willingly drove to the robbery, he willingly waited and he willing drove him (the other youth) away.'
Judge O'Shea then sentenced John Byrne to a term of four years imprisonment which he directed is to run from April 23, 2010 and added that credit should be given for the 10 days which Byrne initially spent in custody in late November/early December 2009.