British actor jailed for acting as a lookout during robbery at Limerick store

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

A BRITISH television star has been sentenced to six months in prison after he admitted acting as a lookout during a robbery at a beauty store in Limerick city centre more than three years ago.

A BRITISH television star has been sentenced to six months in prison after he admitted acting as a lookout during a robbery at a beauty store in Limerick city centre more than three years ago.

Craig Fitzpatrick, aged 25, who has an address at Emmet Place, St Joseph’s Street, Limerick pleaded guilty to robbing €5,200 in cash from Meed Beauty, Parnell Street on August 15, 2009.

The Manchester native, who was extradited from the UK last week, has previously starred in television series such as Channel 4’s Shameless and the BBC’s Waterloo Road.

Det garda Michael Murphy told Limerick District Court that Fitzpatrick was one of two men who entered the beauty store, which also has a Moneygram counter, at around 2.30pm.

He said he stayed near the door and acted as a lookout while his accomplice threatened a female member of staff with a knife and grabbed a box containing €5,200 in cash from behind the counter.

Det Garda Murphy said the defendant was identified as a suspect during the subsequent investigations and that he was arrested on September 19, 2009.

The court heard Fitzpatrick made admissions in relation to the incident and that he told gardai he only received €1,100 for his role in the offence.

He appeared in court on the day of his arrest but failed to appear before the court on October 29, 2009.

Judge Eugene O’Kelly was told a European Arrest Warrant, which was issued in early 2010, was executed by Greater Manchester Police on September 4, last.

Solicitor John Devane said his client’s life had spiralled out of control after he arrived in Limerick in early 2009.

He said in the months preceding the offence, distant relatives of his had gotten him “hooked on cocaine and other drugs”.

However, Judge O’Kelly noted that Fitzpatrick has 22 previous convictions in the UK - some of which date back to 2003.

Sgt Donal Cronin said the convictions, which are across the criminal spectrum, related to 38 separate offences.

“This is a man whose life for many years before he ever arrived in Limerick was on a downward spiral,” said Judge O’Kelly.

The judge noted the contents of a letter which was hand-written by the defendant following his extradition from the UK.

However, he said his offer of an apology to the victim was “very hollow” given the fact that no compensation has ever been paid.

Imposing sentence he said he regarded the offence as a “joint enterprise” and he said Fitzpatrick was equally as culpable as his accomplice.

He imposed a ten month prison sentence suspending the final four months for two years on condition Fitzpatrick stays out of Limerick.