Suspended sentence for woman who drove getaway car
A woman has been spared jail for acting as the getaway driver for her husband as he tried to rob a building society dressed as a wealthy female wheelchair-user.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Denise Ward (39), Chaplains Place, Dublin, waited in the car while her husband, Thomas Clark, entered Permanent TSB on Lower Kilmacud Road, Stillorgan, on October 20th, 2010. He was being pushed in a wheelchair by his accomplice, Martin Collins.
Clark has already being jailed for six years with two suspended for this and other crimes, while Collins got three years for his role. Clark was wearing a poor quality black wig and was posing as a woman who wanted to invest €2.9 million she had been awarded by the State.
The pair were chased out of the place by the manager when he realised Clarke was wearing a disguise and their “gun” was an axe covered in duct tape. “Would you ever f*** off,” he said, telling them to “stop being stupid”, before the pair ran into Ward’s waiting Toyota Corolla.
Judge Martin Nolan accepted yesterday that Ward had played a minor role in the raid and was “somewhat pressurised” into it. He said she was entitled to one chance before imposing a three- year suspended sentence.
Marie Torrens, defending, said her client was addicted to drugs at the time but was thriving since separating from her husband.
Det Garda Sgt Peter Woods told Dara Hayes, prosecuting, that the car had been noticed by a passerby who saw it being driven suspiciously. Gardaí traced it to Ward. Shortly afterwards she was arrested and she admitted her role.