Limerick addict ‘would have robbed anywhere’ to feed drug habit

David Hurley

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David Hurley

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david.hurley@limerickleader.ie

Limerick addict ‘would have robbed anywhere’ to feed drug habit

The accused attempted to rob two retail premises, succeeding at the second one

A YOUNG man will be sentenced in the new year after he pleaded guilty to charges relating to two early morning robbery offences.

Luke Barrett who has an address at St Michael’s Court, Watergate, was before Limerick Circuit Court in relation to incidents at Lough Quay service station and at Subway, Cruises Street, on August 15, 2018.

Giving evidence, Garda Dermot Cummins said the first incident occurred shortly after 7am when the defendant entered the service station and threatened a member of staff with a large knife before demanding the contents of the till.

After the worker pressed a panic button, Mr Barrett retreated and left the store warning the worker he would see him around the city and would kill him.

“He ran his hand across his throat in a threatening fashion,” Garda Cummins told John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting.

The second incident, he said, occurred at Subway at around 7.20am. Again, Mr Barrett entered the premises armed with a knife and threatened a female worker before escaping with around €80 in cash.

When arrested by gardai, Mr Barrett said he was “off his face” on drugs and “would have robbed anywhere” as he needed money to buy drugs. 

While CCTV was obtained, he accepted the defendant’s admissions were important and helpful in the context of the case before the court.

Barrister Yvonne Quinn said her client’s drug addiction was his sole motivation for his offending and that he is now drug free and is engaging with the Probation Service.

“He is remorseful and regretful and apologises,” she added urging the court to not Mr Barrett, admissions and cooperation.

Adjourning the matter to February, Judge Tom O’Donnell commented that the use of the knife was “very worrying”.

Mr Barrett has also pleaded guilty to a number of theft charges relating to incidents in the city as well as another robbery charge relating to an incident at a family-owned store in Newcastle West.