Raider brandished hunting knife during robbery at Limerick off-licence

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Email:

david.hurley@limerickleader.ie

Raider brandished hunting knife during robbery at Limerick off-licence

The incident happened at Fine Wines, Thomondgate

A  WORKER at a city off-licence believed he was going to the killed by an armed raider who threatened him with a large hunting knife, a court has heard.

Gary Long, aged 40, who has an address at St Laurence's Park, Garryowen has pleaded guilty to charges of assault and attempted robbery relating to an incident on June 17, 2014.

During a sentencing hearing, Detective Sergeant James Ruddle told Limerick Circuit Court the defendant entered Fine Wines at Thomondgate at around 7.10pm.

After brandishing the knife at the duty manager, he attempted to go behind the counter before he was confronted by the worker who sustained hand injuries during the ensuing struggle.

Another employee was in a store room when the defendant entered the premises.

Long, who was highly intoxicated at the time, fell over a barbeque in the premises and left empty handed.

Despite discarding his clothes, he was apprehended by gardai at New Road, Thomondgate a short time later.

DNA taken from the handle matched that of the defendant, who denied any involvement when questioned.

While the injured party did not provide a victim impact statement, Det Sgt Ruddle told John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, that he was emotionally distressed as a result of the incident as he felt his life was in danger.

”It was quiet a terrifying experience for him,” he said.

Laurence Goucher said his client, who has a number of serious criminal convictions, was heavily intoxicated and that the knife was “more for intimidation than for use”.

He said the father-of-one, who is is a long-term relationship, is working and that he does not want to return to prison.

He said he volunteers in his local community and has a “strong network of support”.

Mr Goucher suggested his client, who has not come to the attention of gardai since the incident, would benefit from the intervention of the Probation Service.

While commenting that the offence was very serious as a weapon was produced, Judge Tom O’’Donnell agreed and he adjourned the matter to December to facilitate the preparation of a Probation Report.