Man jeered during attempt to rob pub with toy gun, court told
Drug addict Anthony Burns jailed with judge saying his crimes were amateur, desperate
Anthony Burns (43) robbed The Villager pub in Chapelizod, Dublin on December 12th last using a gun he had bought in a toy shop. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times.
Customers in a Dublin pub jeered at a man who was carrying out a robbery with an imitation gun, a court has heard.
Oisín Clarke BL, defending, told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that during the hold up customers in the pub jeered at Burns, telling him “you’re not going to do anything with a plastic gun”.
Burns, who the court heard is a crack cocaine addict, took €520 from barman Shay Donnelly but before he left, a customer hit him over the head with a bottle. He later received medical treatment for cuts to his head.
Mr Clarke said the customers were “robust” and carried out a citizens’ arrest of Burns.
While being held down on the floor, one customer asked Burns “what are you doing?”
He replied: “I’m a cocaine addict, I need money”.
In his victim impact report, Mr Donnelly said he was relieved that neither he nor any of his customers were injured during the incident. He said he would put the incident behind him and said he felt sorry for Burns.
Burns, of Rowlagh Gardens, Clondalkin, pleaded guilty to the robbery of the pub. He also admitted to robbing cash from a Subway outlet in Clondalkin and the attempted robbery of Rapeedos take-away in Palmerstown on the same date.
The former security guard also admitted robbing €820 from a bookmakers in Clondalkin on December 5th. The victim in that incident, Stacey Ryle, told the court she felt threatened during the attack.
Katarzyna Filipiak, the victim of the Subway raid, told the court she feared she was going to be stabbed during the attack and was terrified for weeks after in work that another robbery would take place.
Judge Melanie Greally suspended the last two years of a five-year prison term after noting that Burns had shown an ability in the past to remain crime-free, and his last conviction was for offences in November 2000. She said the crimes were amateurish in nature and seemed to be crimes of desperation.
Mr Clarke said that his client had become addicted to heroin aged 16 but later got work in security. He lost his job when the company went bust in 2014 and began dabbling in cocaine. His previous convictions include false imprisonment, robbery and the unlawful seizure of a car.