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Ross Hutch jailed for two-and-a-half years for robbing pharmacy with bike saddle

The incident happened at Boles Pharmacy in Drumcondra in April this year.

Image: Google Street View

A MAN ARMED with a bicycle saddle who robbed a Dublin pharmacy, where a 70-year-old woman who knew his family was working, has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Ross Hutch (27), of Portland Place, Dublin 1 pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbing €200 from Boles Pharmacy in Drumcondra on 12 April last.

He has 73 previous convictions, including convictions for possession of firearms, endangerment and theft.

Passing sentence today, Judge Martin Nolan said the Hutch family had used the pharmacy and the injured party knew the family well.

Detective Garda Kevin Bambrick told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that Hutch entered the pharmacy after noon on the day in question, when four staff members were working there.

Employee Catherine Raymond (70) was serving a customer at the till when she saw a man, who she now knew to be Hutch, run into the shop.

She said he was wearing an orange jacket with a scarf covering his face and was carrying a seat belonging to a bicycle saddle.

Hutch shouted at Raymond to give him the money on two occasions, but she went to run away.

A customer tried to protect Raymond by pushing her up against a window as Hutch took cash from the till, the court heard.

Staff members subsequently left the shop through a side entrance and activated the alarm.

The same customer then disarmed Hutch of the bicycle saddle and he left the shop, before he was seen cycling off in the direction of nearby Clonliffe Road.

Orange jacket recovered

Raymond was “shaken up” by the incident but not physically injured, the court heard.

Hutch was later stopped by gardaí on his bike, which displayed a distinctive crest, at Distillery Road but he was no longer wearing the orange jacket or grey tracksuit bottoms.

Garda Bambrick agreed that gardaí later recovered the robber’s orange jacket and tracksuit bottoms, which employees had described him wearing in the shop. Hutch was arrested that night in his home while in possession of €200 in cash.

A DNA sample was then taken from him, which matched a DNA profile taken from his orange jacket, counsel said.

In a victim impact statement, Raymond said the Hutch family were known to her as they were customers in the pharmacy, so she considered this incident a particular betrayal of trust. She also struggled to sleep at night since the robbery, the court heard.

Bambrick agreed with Emmet Nolan BL, defending, that the robbery was confined to threats of violence and no one had been attacked by the defendant.

The court also heard that a significant event had occurred in 2016 which led to a devastating loss of life, including the defendant’s father, cousin and friend.

As a result, Hutch relapsed into cocaine addiction, the garda said.

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Threats on life

In mitigation, the defence barrister told the judge that a well-publicised event had occurred in a Dublin hotel in 2016, and that there had been threats on the defendant’s life, leading him to seek treatment for his drug addiction in the UK.

The barrister said his client was deeply remorseful, ashamed and embarrassed for his behaviour.

A letter of apology written by Hutch was handed into the court which expressed his regret and hope that Raymond makes a full recovery.

A psychological report outlined that the father-of-two was intoxicated at the time of the robbery and had developed a drug addiction at the age of 14.

The court also heard that Hutch has been in custody in Wheatfield Prison since his arrest in April, and that he is on 23-hour lockup.

Handing down sentence, the judge noted that Raymond was extremely frightened by what had happened and was disappointed that Hutch had robbed her.

He also said that the defendant had entered an early plea, expressed true remorse, has a difficult family history and that it is tough for him to serve time in prison.

He sentenced Hutch to two-and-a-half years in prison and backdated the sentence to 12 April, 2019, when he first went into custody.

About the author:

Alison O'Riordan

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