Two years jail for hatchet robbery
STOLE MONEY FOR DRUGS AND DRINK
A BRAY native received a two year sentence when he appeared before Judge Michael O’Shea at Wicklow Circuit Court recently.
Darren Byrne (21) who is originally from 69 Wolfe Tone Square North, Bray but who also spends a lot of time in Wexford pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of a hatchet at Bambrick’s Newsagent, Vevay Road, Bray on March 25, 2011.
Staff member Trevor Ledwidge said at 5.15pm on the day in question Byrne entered the shop with a hatchet ‘roaring and shouting give me the money’.
He was waving the hatchet and slammed the hatchet down on the counter causing it to become momentarily stuck there.
Mr. Ledwidge and another staff member Helen Cane emptied their tills and gave it to Byrne.
He also noticed another man in the video shop side of the premises who appeared to be keeping watch.
A total of €702.19 was stolen in the robbery.
CCTV was examined and the two men were arrested.
The other man involved was Tiernan Stokes who has also been dealt with by the courts. A hoody and some money had also been found discarded by gardai.
On his arrest Byrne admitted carrying out the robbery saying ‘I was out of my head. It was the most stoned I’ve ever been in my life’.
He said he had thrown the hatchet away in a ditch.
Byrne said he had ‘ been in a different world’ and had committed the robbery ‘for drugs and more drink’.
The court heard Byrne has 28 previous convictions. He’s a Bray native the court heard but spends a lot of time in Wexford.
The court heard Byrne is currently serving a sentence and is due for release in September 2013.
Acting for Byrne Gerry O’Reilly SC said Byrne had been taking drugs since he was 14 years old.
He said Byrne had learnt a significant lesson and ‘ never wants to come before the court again’.
Mr. O’Reilly said Byrne lacked ‘maturity but the time in prison has helped him mature’.
He said Byrne who is serving his sentence in Wheatfield is currently drug free.
Byrne, he said, had been ‘subjected to peer pressure in Bray and wants to get away from it’.
He said Byrne plans to rejoin his mother in Wexford on his release.
Judge Michael O’Shea said Byrne ‘appears to have some insight into his behaviour on the day’.
He said the robbery ‘was carried out in a frightening, aggressive and intimidating manner’.
He sentenced him to two years imprisonment for each of the charges and directed that both sentences run concurrently.
On passing sentence he told Byrne ‘you are not doing badly at all’.