Jail for drug addict who used fake gun to hold up dry cleaners

Woman working in shop told gardaí John Joyce (25) unable to run away due to limp

A drug addict used an Airsoft pistol to hold up a dry cleaners where he had earlier gone to get alterations done.

A worker in the shop recognised John Joyce (25) during the raid in which he used the imitation firearm to threaten her into handing over €436 in cash.

The woman told gardaí that Joyce was unable to run away because of a limp in his leg.

Gardaí, who knew Joyce from other crimes, went to a halting site where he lived and saw the get away car parked near his caravan. There was packaging for an Airsoft gun on the car seat and Joyce was arrested.


Joyce, of St Bridget's Lawn, Porterstown Road, Clonsilla, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery of Margens Drozdziak at PressXpress in Clonsilla on November 2nd, 2015.


He also pleaded guilty to robbery of Darragh Power at Snugborough Road, on August 21st, 2014. The victim told gardaí he was in fear of his life during the robbery in which a screwdriver was used to threaten him.

Joyce also pleaded guilty to damaging cars with a screwdriver at Clonsilla Road, Blanchardstown on various dates in mid-2014.

Judge Terence O’Sullivan imposed a total sentence of six years but suspended the last 18 months.

The victim of the robbery in the dry cleaners said she could not sleep well for a week because of nightmares. She felt terrified back in work and ended up moving her job to another branch of the business.

Garda Michael Perry Jones said that Joyce has 66 previous convictions including convictions for robbery, attempted robbery, burglary and handling of stolen property.

Ronan Kennedy BL, defending, said his client had grown up in a dysfunctional family situation. His mother suffered from psychiatric difficulties and he was raised by his maternal grandparents.

His grandfather died when Joyce was aged only 15 and Joyce began abusing prescriptions drugs around this time. By his late teens he was abusing cocaine and heroin.

Counsel said the father of one was now a trustee of the prison and had had some success in getting treatment for his drug addiction.