Attempted robbery at Limerick shop was foiled by 'coke bottle'

 Guilty plea entered as young man's family are 'shocked' by incident

Maria Flannery

Reporter:

Maria Flannery

Attempted robbery at Limerick shop was foiled 'with coke bottle'

Newcastle West court heard the armed robbery at an off-licence was deterred when the shop assistant brandished a bottle of coke

A MAN who attempted to carry out an armed robbery at an off-licence in his hometown was deterred when the shop assistant brandished a bottle of coke.

David O’Connor, with an address at Colbert’s Terrace, Abbeyfeale, was 20 years old when he entered the Carry Out off licence on Church Street armed with a kitchen knife.

The now 21-year-old pleaded guilty to the attempted robbery of the store on July 28, 2016.

Newcastle West court heard that Mr O’Connor entered the off-licence at around 9.30pm, wearing a light grey scarf.

He produced a small kitchen knife with a black handle and a three inch blade, and demanded money from the shopkeeper who was on duty at the time.

Mr O’Connor was “repelled” by the shopkeeper, who “brandished a bottle of coke” as the perpetrator approached.

Gardai were notified “thanks to the good work of a local resident”, the court heard in evidence.

The man’s solicitor, Michael O’Donnell, said that Mr O’Connor’s family are “very shocked”.

“He has spent a small time in custody over this,” said Mr O’Donnell.

Mr O’Connor left school early on in secondary school, the court heard, but he is now doing training courses and working as a carer for a relative.

Solicitor Mr O’Donnell added that Mr O’Connor hopes to attend college at the age of 23 as a mature student, to study media.

Mr O’Donnell said that there was “no doubt” that it was a serious matter, saying that “he owed a lot of money at the time”. His parents have since “rejuvenated” their relationship with him, the court heard.

Judge Mary Larkin said that she would take the fact that he had no previous convictions into account. She also accepted that it was “not a robbery”, as Mr O’Connor did not succeed in his attempt.

“In view of the fact he’s young”, she imposed a sentence of 120 hours of community service in lieu of three months in prison. She also requested a probation report.