Get­away driver gets four years

Bray People - - NURSERY & MONTESSORI -

AN ARK­LOW YOUTH who was the get­away driver in a rob­bery which re­sulted in the death of shop­keeper John Deasy was sen­tenced to four years de­ten­tion at Wick­low Cir­cuit Court last Fri­day.

Last De­cem­ber John Byrne (20) of 9 Croughan Heights, Ark­low, pleaded guilty to rob­bery at Braud­ers Shop, Cool­gre­any Road, Ark­low, on Novem­ber 25, 2009 and the case had been ad­journed to al­low for the prepa­ra­tion of a pro­ba­tion re­port.

Sgt. Conor McEvoy told the court that Kay O’Con­nor worked part­time in Braud­ers Shop. She started work on the evening of Novem­ber 25 at 6pm and the shop was busy un­til 8pm. The owner, John Deasy, was up­stairs in his pri­vate res­i­dence.

Mo­ments af­ter the 8pm news the door of the shop opened and a youth, not Byrne, en­tered. He was wear­ing a light powder blue mask over his face and he had a knife in his hand.

He de­manded she open the till and he put the knife to her face. Ms. O’Con­nor shouted for help from Mr. Deasy and the youth took some notes from the till.

He was flee­ing the shop when he met Mr. Deasy at the door and the court heard ‘ there was an in­ter­ac­tion be­tween Mr. Deasy and the youth and Mr. Deasy un­for­tu­nately passed away fol­low­ing this in­ter­ac­tion’. For the State Paul Mur­ray, BL, said this youth is now fac­ing a charge in a higher court as a re­sult of the in­ci­dent.

Ms. O’Con­nor said the youth ran from the shop and ran up to­wards St. Peter’s Place and she gave med­i­cal as­sis­tance to Mr. Deasy. She said no more than €150 was taken in the rob­bery.

Sgt. McEvoy said gar­daí fo­cused their in­quiries on a white Re­nault van which was seen in the vicin­ity of the shop around the time of the rob­bery.

He said the gar­daí got CCTV footage from var­i­ous premises and the van was seen on 21 oc­ca­sions prior to the rob­bery. ‘ On three oc­ca­sions it drove di­rectly past the shop over the course of a half-hour pe­riod,’ he said.

The van was traced to Byrne and he was ar­rested on Novem­ber 27. Dur­ing his sec­ond in­ter­view, he said the other man who was known to him told him he was go­ing to rob a shop. He said he drove past Braud­ers Shop a cou­ple of times.

At 7.30pm, he drove the other youth to his home and the youth went into his house for 20 min­utes and came out with two jack­ets and Byrne told the gar­daí he had a knife.

Byrne drove the other youth to Braud­ers Shop and Byrne parked up around the cor­ner. The other youth left the van and he re­turned ‘ two or three min­utes’ telling him to drive to the laneway where he had col­lected him.

Byrne told the gar­daí he ‘didn’t know what to do’ about telling any­one once the de­tails of the rob­bery emerged. ‘I sup­pose I would have been afraid’, he said adding the other youth had ‘ told me not to say any­thing’.

Dur­ing a garda in­ter­view he said ‘sorry for with­hold­ing in­for­ma­tion. I should have come to you sooner. I feel sick. I am sorry I ever had any­thing to do with it and sorry for John Deasy’s chil­dren’. He said con­fess­ing felt ‘ like a weight of his shoul­ders’.

The court heard Byrne had been in cus­tody in re­spect of the rob­bery since April 23, 2010 af­ter his High Court bail was re­voked.

Braud­ers Shop in Ark­low where John Deasy was killed.

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