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Man who raided a supermarket with a toy gun given five-year sentence

David Savage (29) pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

A BIKE-RIDING robber wearing a Halloween mask and wielding a toy gun was unsuccessful in his attempts to rob two premises before later raiding a supermarket, a court has heard.

David Savage (29) later presented himself at a garda station and told investigators he had been in a panic on the day after being pressured to repay a drug debt.

Savage, with addresses at Navan Road, Dublin 7, and Belclare Way, Poppintree, Dublin 11, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two attempted robberies and one robbery in the city centre on 30 December 2019.

He pleaded guilty to a further robbery on 14 January 2020.

Judge Melanie Greally today noted Savage comes from a respectable background and that he wishes to address the addiction which is at the heart of his offending

She took into account the contents of a probation report before the court as well as Savage’s cooperation, admissions and remorse.

Judge Greally imposed a five year sentence and suspended the final year on strict conditions, including 12 month’s probation supervision.

At his original sentence hearing last June, the court heard Savage attempted to rob Paddy Powers on Manor Street, Dublin 7 while armed with an imitation firearm and wearing a skeleton mask. He fled empty handed after staff activated a panic alarm.

Garda Niall Freaney told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that 15 minutes later, Savage cycled up to An Post on Ushers Quay and was again unsuccessful in his attempt to demand money from the cashier.

He said that half an hour later, a cashier at Lidl in Rathmines was about to close his till after serving a customer when Savage came behind him and pointed what he believed was a gun into his rib cage.

Savage told the man not to close the till and grabbed notes to the value of €1765 before running out of the shop and being observed cycling off. Gardaí reviewed CCTV of the incidents and identified Savage as a suspect.

Savage later told gardaí the weapon had been a child’s toy gun and he had dumped it in a roadside bin after the Lidl robbery.

Garda Dylan Walsh said a further robbery took place on 14 January 2020 when Savage jumped the counter at a Burger King, held a knife at a staff member’s rib cage while telling him: “Open the cash drawer or I am going to stab you.”

The cashier backed off and let him take money. Savage told him, “I am sorry, I need the money,” before jumping back over the counter and running out of the shop.

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Savage, who has nine previous convictions, presented himself at Pearse Street Garda Station on 2 February 2020. He was interviewed and made full admissions in relation to the offences.

He told gardaí he was using heroin on a daily basis and was under pressure to pay a drug debt.

Freaney agreed with Ronan Prendergast BL, defending, that Savage had apologised and said he was desperate for money. He told gardaí he had been in a state of panic.

Prendergast handed in a reference from his client’s father and said Savage had family support.

He asked the court to take into account that Savage had handed himself in to gardai and that the purpose of the offending was pressure due to a drug debt. He said Savage is anxious to rehabilitate.

About the author:

Fiona Ferguson

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