Pair sentenced after man (80) tied to chair and threatened with shotgun during €45 robbery

Man jailed and woman given suspended sentence for their part in incident which took place on farm

A man and a woman involved in an incident where an 80-year-old man was tied to a chair while the culprits made off with his shotgun and his jeep, have been sentenced in Mullingar Circuit Court.

Therese King, of Seffin, Birr, Co Offaly, was handed a three year prison sentence, which was suspended in its entirety. Edward Morrissey, of Old Shop Building, Emmett Street, Birr, Co Offaly, received a six year and six month sentence, with the final three years suspended for five years.

Both had been charged with the robbery of a shotgun and money from the man.

On September 19th, 2020, at 2.06pm, gardaí were notified that a male had been tied up and robbed in his home and that his jeep had been taken.


The victim was Martin Dibbs (80), who had arrived back at his farmyard at around 12pm, where he was confronted by three masked males who shouted and demanded money off him.

One of the men had a black stick covered in black tape and all three forced their way into the house, where they proceeded to tape his arms to the chair and put a cloth in his mouth.

They demanded money, taking €45 from his pocket before looking around the house.

Mr Dibbs told gardaí that when the men came back downstairs, they had his shotgun. One of them got cartridges for the gun, closed it and pointed it at him, demanding to know where his money was. One of the men also threatened to “split him open” with an axe.

Morrissey, the court heard, went to the yard and started Mr Dibbs’ jeep, beckoning to the other men to leave with him.

One of the raiders clipped Mr Dibbs’ legs on the way out, causing him to fall backwards and the chair to break. When the injured party finally freed himself, he called 999 and told gardaí he had been robbed and badly abused.

King’s role in the offence, the court heard, was to drive the three men to the house and to wait in a nearby carpark. The following day, she drove the men to Limerick where they exchanged the shotgun for drugs.

“The evidence discloses that Edward Morrissey was involved in tying the victim to the chair and he was also the driver of the jeep,” said Judge Keenan Johnson.

“It is clear that he had a very active role in the perpetration of the robbery. The involvement of Therese King was somewhat more peripheral.”

Judge Johnson noted that Morrissey and King were the only two culprits to be prosecuted due to a lack of evidence against the other two.

He sentenced Morrissey to six years and six months in prison, with the final three years suspended for a period of five years post release.

King was handed a sentence of three years, which has been suspended in its entirety with a condition that she pay a sum of €10,000 in compensation to the accused.

She has also been disqualified from driving for four years after Judge Johnson deemed her “not suitable to hold a driver’s licence”.