Judge jails 'all-time stupidest criminal' for seven years

Fri, Feb 17, 2012, 00:00

A ROBBER described by a judge as a man who “ranks amongst the all-time stupidest criminals to come before the courts” has been jailed for a botched armed robbery where the raiders had to be rescued by the fire brigade.

Gary Byrne (30) left the scene of the robbery, a gold storage business, with the keys to the safe, locking the shutters behind him. His two accomplices, Ian Jordan (33) and Aidan Murphy (32), were trapped inside with two staff members who had been bound and gagged during the raid.

Byrne, of Edenmore Crescent, Raheny, was convicted by a Dublin Circuit Criminal Court jury last month following an eight-day trial.

He was sentenced to seven years in prison after he was found guilty of attempted robbery, possession of an imitation firearm and two counts of false imprisonment at the Bullion Room, Bolton Street, Dublin, on August 10th, 2010. Byrne denied the charges.

Jordan, of Belclare Grove, Ballymun, and Murphy, of Stag Park Avenue, Mitchelstown, Cork, were each jailed for five years by Judge Martin Nolan earlier this year after they pleaded guilty to the same offences.

Judge Donagh McDonagh described it as “one of the most farcical cases in recent criminal history in Dublin”, and said Byrne “ranks amongst the all-time stupidest criminals to come before the courts”. He said he would give him the “benefit of his stupidity” and suspended the final two years of the sentence after acknowledging that Byrne, with his one previous conviction for assault, was “not a hardened criminal”.

“It was a well-researched but indifferently planned operation. They knew the business owner’s schedule well and raided her premises at the most vulnerable time,” Judge McDonagh said.

“One thing is for sure: his [Byrne’s] ineptitude and stupidity does not, in any way, reduce his culpability,” the judge said.

He commented that for “some unknown reason”, Byrne left the premises and locked the shutters behind him, leaving his accomplices “to emerge with their hands up and surrendering themselves to gardaí” after being rescued by the fire brigade.