Man gets suspended sentence after handing himself in after raid on shop

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By Sonya McLean & Brion Hoban

A robber who turned up at a local solicitor’s office to admit to the raid because he wanted to be put in prison has received fully suspended sentences.

Dylan Deegan (24) was on bail for two previous robberies when he approached the counter in the Insomnia Café in Belgard Square West, Tallaght, Dublin, and demanded money from the till.

Staff, who later said they were in fear, threw money at him and he ran out.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that a solicitor from a local practice later contacted gardaí and said a man had just walked into the office and said he wanted to hand himself in because he had just committed a robbery.

Deegan, of The Grove, Belgard Heights, Tallaght, pleaded guilty to robbery of €684 from Cash for Clothes in Tallaght and production of a knife on July 2, 2020 and to the robbery of Insomnia on February 17, 2021.

He further pleaded guilty to an earlier robbery of a man at the Back Lane Hostel on April 21, 2020.

He has 15 previous convictions for offences including aggravated burglary, robbery, public order and assault.

Judge Melanie Greally previously sentenced Deegan to three and half years in prison for the violent mugging in April 2020, after he and another man lured a homeless man into a laneway.

The court heard that the victim in this case believed he was going to get drugs from the men, but was struck by both men before cash was taken from him.

Passing sentence today, Judge Melanie Greally said the final offence was committed with the intention of being detected and incarcerated, with Deegan having “effectively turned himself in” in the aftermath.

She said reports before the court made reference to a drug habit that developed at an early stage and worsened, culminating in the commission of offences to fund his addiction.

Judge Greally sentenced Deegan to three years imprisonment for the robbery in July 2020 and 18 months imprisonment for the robbery in February 2021.

She ordered that both sentences run consecutive to the sentence she had already imposed.

The judge then suspended both sentences on strict conditions, including that he follow all directions of the Probation Service for three years post release.

At a previous sentencing hearing, Garda Adrian O’Sullivan said gardaí arrived at the scene of the robbery in February 2021 after the panic alarm was activated and circulated a description of the suspect, having viewed CCTV footage of the raid.

Gda O’Sullivan said they tracked Deegan to The Square Shopping Centre in Tallaght where he was captured on CCTV getting into a taxi.

Gardaí made contact with the taxi driver after noting his registration plate from the footage and he told them where he had dropped Deegan.

A solicitor from a local practice then contacted gardaí and said a man had just walked into the office and said he wanted to hand himself in because he had just committed a robbery.

Deegan was arrested and interviewed.

He said he stole money from the shop and ran out the door. He said he was “very suicidal”, was addicted to drugs and wanted to go into custody.

Gda O’Sullivan confirmed that the cash was never recovered and Deegan was not armed at the time of the robbery.

The court heard that during the robbery in July 2020, Deegan threatened staff in Cash for Clothes with a knife.

He demanded the money, but the staff said he was calm. He reached under the counter and took a purse with the cash in it.

The woman ran out after Deegan and spotted what direction he fled in before she went into the office next door and asked that they contact gardaí.

Deegan was arrested the following day after gardaí analysed footage from the local area.

He was interviewed and admitted he had walked to the counter and grabbed the purse. He denied having a knife.

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