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Man who held up woman at knife point within minutes of raiding two shops jailed for 4 years

The 23-year-old committed the offences over a ten minute period in Lusk, Co Dublin.

File photo.
File photo.
Image: PA images

A MAN WHO held up a 76-year-old woman at knife point within minutes of raiding two shops has been jailed for four years.

Declan Turner (23) committed the offences over a ten minute period within a distance of 500 metres of each other in Lusk, Co Dublin. He was identified on CCTV and told gardaí he had a drug problem.

Turner, of Barrons Hall House, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to attempted robbery at Supervalu; robbery at Gino’s takeaway and attempted robbery at Orylnn Park, all at Station Road, Lusk, Co Dublin on 15 November, 2019. He has 33 previous convictions.

Detective Garda John Delaney told Dara Hayes BL, prosecuting, that Turner approached a staff member working at a counter in Supervalu, produced a knife and demanded money.

He left empty-handed after the staff member pressed a bell on the side of the counter.

Turner, still armed with the knife, then went to a neighbouring premises Gino’s takeaway, demanded money and left with a €20 note from the float after jumping the counter.

A 76-year-old woman walking in nearby Orlynn Park saw Turner walking towards her. He said hello and she responded in kind. Turner then grabbed her arm, produced his knife and demanded money.

She told Turner she had no money and he told her: “Give me the money or I will kill you.”

The woman showed him her empty hands and looked Turner in the eye and Turner walked off.

The elderly woman, who felt jittery and scared, rang her brother-in-law who alerted gardaí.

Gardaí identified Turner from CCTV. They arrested him the next day and he has been in custody since.

He told gardaí he had a cocaine problem and admitted the robberies. He said he did not know where he got or left the knife and said he had no recollection of attempting to rob the elderly woman.

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He also told gardaí that he had taken drink and drugs earlier in the day and expressed remorse.

Defence counsel told the court that his client had been assessed in one report as having a mild learning difficulty and has had dealings with mental health services.

He said he needs assistance to stay on the straight and narrow, is easily influenced and has been subjected to bullying which gets him into a lot of trouble.

Judge Melanie Greally suspended the final two years on a six year prison term on condition that he keep the peace for the entire period. She also made it a condition of the suspension that he co-operate with the Probation Service for 18 months and engage with residential drug treatment if directed.

She noted that he had a difficult family background and has a history of mental disorders but that he  wants to rehabilitate. She said that Turner is “still a very young man with plenty of potential”.

About the author:

Fiona Ferguson

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