Man threatened shop staff with scissors during robbery attempts

Court told Anthony Rossiter (32) has drug addiction and had debt at time of incidents

A drug addict who used a large pair of scissors to threaten staff during raids on three Dublin city centre shops has been jailed  at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times.

A drug addict who used a large pair of scissors to threaten staff during raids on three Dublin city centre shops has been jailed at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times.

 

A drug addict who used a large pair of scissors to threaten staff during raids on three Dublin city centre shops has been jailed for 3½ years.

Anthony Rossitter (32) pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to three charges of attempted robbery on May 15th, 2019.

Passing sentence on Friday, Judge Melanie Greally said Rossiter was someone whose long-standing addiction to drugs has been the primary cause of his more serious offending. She said he was someone in need of support if he was to “break the cycle”.

Judge Greally sentenced him to 4½ years imprisonment, but suspended the final 12 months of the sentence on strict conditions including that he follow all directions of the Probation Service for 12 months post release.

At a previous sentencing hearing, the court heard that at around 9am on the day in question, Rossitter went into a Gala shop on Abbey Street and placed a plastic bag on the counter. He told a staff member at the cash register to put cash into the bag.

Cut

He was holding a pair of large stainless steel scissors and told one member of staff to give him money or “he would cut him”. A member of staff who was stacking chocolate in the aisles came over and told Rossitter they did not have cash on hand and Rossitter left.

He then went to a Spar shop in Temple Bar and demanded cash but again left empty-handed.

Finally he went into a Gala shop on Dorset Street and demanded money while showing the scissors. Staff told him their boss had just taken all the cash and Rossitter asked them to give him €20. He left without any cash and was arrested a short time later.

Rossitter, a homeless man from Co Wexford, has previous convictions for assault and drug dealing.

In 2016 at Wexford Circuit Criminal Court Rossitter received a prison sentence for two robberies. He has 85 previous convictions in total, 46 of which are for road traffic offences.

Kevin McCrave BL, defending, said that Rossitter had taken tablets that morning. He said he was trying to deal with his drug addiction while in custody and wanted to be father to his young child.

Mr McCrave said his client had a drug debt at the time of the offence. He said Rossitter has been a drug addict for 18 years of his life and is only allowed to see his daughter when he is sober.