Man jailed for robbing pharmacy while armed with bicycle saddle

Shop assistant targeted by Ross Hutch felt betrayed as she knew his family as customers

Ross Hutch (centre), of Portland Place, Dublin 1, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbing €200 from Boles Pharmacy in Drumcondra, on April 12th last. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Ross Hutch (centre), of Portland Place, Dublin 1, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbing €200 from Boles Pharmacy in Drumcondra, on April 12th last. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

 

A man who was armed with a bicycle saddle when he robbed a Dublin pharmacy has been jailed for 2½ years.

Ross Hutch (27), of Portland Place, Dublin 1, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbing €200 from Boles Pharmacy in Drumcondra, on April 12th last.

He has 73 previous convictions including convictions for possession of firearms, endangerment and theft.

Passing sentence on Wednesday, Judge Martin Nolan said the Hutch family had used the pharmacy and the injured party knew the family well.

Det Garda Kevin Bambrick told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that Hutch entered the pharmacy after noon on the day in question when four staff members were working there.

Catherine Raymond (70) was serving a customer at the till, when she saw a man who she now knew to be Hutch run into the shop. He was wearing an orange jacket with a scarf covering his face and was carrying a bicycle saddle.

Shouted

Hutch shouted at Ms Raymond to give him money on two occasions but she went to run away. A customer tried to protect Ms Raymond by pushing her up against a window as Hutch took cash from the till, the court heard.

The customer then disarmed Hutch and he left the shop. The defendant was seen cycling off in the direction of Clonliffe Road.

Ms Raymond was “shaken up” by the incident but not physically injured, the court heard.

Hutch was stopped by gardaí­ on his bike, which displayed a distinctive crest, at Distillery Road but was no longer wearing the orange jacket or grey tracksuit bottoms.

Det Garda Bambrick agreed that gardaí later recovered the orange jacket and tracksuit bottoms, which employees had described him wearing in the shop. Hutch was arrested that night in his home with €200 in cash.

A DNA sample was then taken from Hutch, which matched a DNA profile taken from his orange jacket, said Ms McGowan.

Betrayal

In a victim impact statement, Ms Raymond said the Hutch family were known to her as they were customers in the pharmacy so she considered this incident a particular betrayal of trust. She struggled to sleep at night since the robbery, the court heard.

Garda Bambrick agreed with Emmet Nolan BL, defending, that the robbery was confined to threats of violence and no one had been attacked by the defendant. The court also heard that a significant event had occurred in 2016 which led to a devastating loss of life including the defendant’s father, cousin and friend. As a result, Hutch relapsed into a cocaine addiction, said Garda Bambrick.

The barrister said Hutch was deeply remorseful, ashamed and embarrassed for his behaviour. A letter of apology written by Hutch was handed into the court which expressed his regret and hope that Ms Raymond makes a full recovery.

A psychological report outlined that the father-of-two was intoxicated at the time of the robbery and had become addicted to drugs aged 14 .

The court heard that Hutch has been in custody in Wheatfield Prison since his arrest in April and is on 23-hour lock-up.

Judge Nolan sentenced Hutch to 2½ years in prison and backdated the sentence to April 12th last when he first went into custody.