Limerick Circuit Court heard the owner of the premises was in a back room when the defendant entered shortly after 9pm and went behind the counter
A DRUG addict who entered a Limerick newsagents while armed with a knife has been jailed for four years.
Gus Gilligan, aged 35, of Woodlawn Park, Ballysimon had pleaded guilty to charges relating to an incident which happened at Deerpark Dairies, Davis Street on July 7, 2017.
Garda Eoin McDonagh told Limerick Circuit Court the owner of the premises was in a back room when the defendant entered shortly after 9pm and went behind the counter.
Having been alerted to the defendant’s presence in the store, the 58-year-old “armed himself with an iron bar”, confronted Gilligan and forced him out of the premises.
During a sentencing hearing, John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, said while Gilligan did not produce the knife while in the store, it was an extremely frightening experience for the shopkeeper.
The injured party, he said, declined to submit a victim impact statement but has a “robust enough view of the situation”.
The shopkeeper was not physically injured during the incident.
Mark Nicholas SC said his client, who leads a chaotic lifestyle, was highly intoxicated at the time and he noted he had been taken to University Hospital Limerick following his arrest.
“He was out of it,” he said adding that Gilligan did not produce the knife while inside the store and that it was only taken out of his pants during an altercation with the owner which took place on the street outside the premises.
Imposing sentence, Judge Tom O’Donnell noted the father of two is making “excellent use of his time in prison” and that he is now drug free.
He said incidents such as what happened are “all too common” in Limerick and that they must be treated seriously by the courts.
He said Gilligan’s previous convictions and his propensity for violence were an aggravating factor he had to consider. He imposed a three year sentence, suspending the final two years.