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Robber identified from DNA left on a juice box jailed for three years

He has previous convictions for attempted robbery, burglary and possession of stolen property.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

A ROBBER WHO who was identified by gardaí after they found his DNA on a box of juice he drank shortly before the offence has been jailed for three years.

Gareth Hamilton (26) of Drumconnick, Co Cavan, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery at Applegreen Service Station, Inchicore, Dublin on 28 November, 2018.

He has previous convictions for attempted robbery, burglary and possession of stolen property.

Detective Garda Sean Byrne told Garrett McCormack BL, prosecuting, that on the evening in question, Hamilton entered the service station, walked up to the counter and asked for cigarettes.

Byrne said that after the cashier got the cigarettes, Hamilton asked him to open the till slowly and took a box cutter out of his trouser pocket. He leaned over the counter, took €350 from the till and left with the money and the cigarettes.

Gardaí obtained CCTV footage which showed Hamilton drinking a box of Ribena inside the premises. They recovered the box of juice and discovered traces of his DNA and his fingerprints.

Byrne agreed with Brian Storan BL, defending, that his client identified himself on CCTV footage. He agreed that Hamilton said he was “off his head” on drugs and spent the stolen money on crack cocaine.

Storan said his client grew up first in Belfast and was placed in a care home before being taken in by his grandparents. He asked the court to consider that his client had rehabilitated from drug use.

Judge Melanie Greally said his previous convictions were committed over “a relatively finite time” period in 2018 and 2019. She noted that he was on bail at the time of this offence.

Judge Greally said Hamilton had employment on his father’s farm and wished to live with his father once released from custody. She said if he could overcome his drug use he had “the potential to get his life back on track”.

She sentenced him to four-and-a-half years imprisonment, but suspended the final 18 months on strict conditions. She ordered the sentence to run consecutive to a sentence he is currently serving which will end on 14 November, next.

About the author:

Brian Hoban

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