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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019
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Man sentenced after robbing shop and threatening to stab worker with red liquid-filled syringe

Rooney Dignam entered the shop on the day in question and told the worker to open the till or he would stab her.

Image: Sasko Lazarov via RollingNews.ie

A MAN TOLD a shop worker he had “the virus” and threatened to stab her with a syringe filled with red liquid unless they opened the till, a court has heard.

Michael Rooney Dignam (38) of St Mark’s Gardens, Clondalkin, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery at Centra, New Cabra Road, Dublin, on 7 May 2017.

Garda Claire Fitzgerald told John Berry BL, prosecuting, that Rooney Dignam entered the shop on the day in question and told a shop worker to open the till or he would stab her.

“I’ve just got told I have the virus, I’m a very sick man,” he said. The worker noticed he was holding a syringe filled with red liquid which she believed was his own blood.

Rooney Dignam stole €600 from the tills. He told gardaí on arrest that he did not remember the events occurring, but he later identified himself on CCTV footage.

He has 47 previous convictions, including 18 convictions for robbery and one conviction for manslaughter.

Garda Fitzgerald agreed with Tony McGillicuddy BL, defending, that his client told gardaí he never meant to hurt anyone. He also told gardaí that he did not have “the virus”.

McGillicuddy said the conviction for manslaughter involved a family member and that it occurred in “very tragic circumstances”. He said his client had been on crack cocaine and heroin at the time of this robbery.

Rooney Dignam is currently serving a six-year sentence with the final 18 months suspended for three robberies which also occurred in May 2017. He is scheduled for release on 29 September 2020.

Judge Martin Nolan said he believed he would not have prolonged the prison sentence had he heard this case along with the three previous robberies. He sentenced Rooney Dignam to 18 months’ imprisonment, to start today.

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Brion Hoban

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