Robber of EBS branch jailed after garda gave chase

Ronald Emmett (36) had face partially covered and garda saw he had gun in newspaper

Ronald Emmett  claimed he had been “practically set up” and was told there would be a minimum of €30,000 in the EBS Killiney branch that day.  Photograph: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Ronald Emmett claimed he had been “practically set up” and was told there would be a minimum of €30,000 in the EBS Killiney branch that day. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

 

A judge has praised a garda for his bravery in chasing and arresting a robber he believed to be armed, while also praising the manager of the raided premises for putting himself “in the line of fire”.

Garda Martin Egan spotted Ronald Emmett (36) running from the EBS in Killiney, Dublin and Barry O’Brien, the manager, following quickly behind.

Emmett had his face partially covered and Garda Egan saw he was carrying a gun in a rolled-up newspaper.

He ordered the raider to stop running and chased after him when he refused, ultimately tackling him and arresting him.

The gun later transpired to be an imitation weapon, but the garda confirmed it “created the impression of a genuine gun to an untrained eye”.

Emmett, of Cloonmore Gardens, Tallaght, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery and possession of a realistic imitation firearm on December 12th, 2013.

He stole €153.59 after threatening cashiers with a gun that was wrapped in a yellow duster.

Emmett had 39 previous convictions for hijacking, carrying a firearm, producing an article, handling stolen property and being in possession of forged prescriptions.

Previous offences

He was on bail for previous robbery offences when he carried out this offence.

Emmett took the stand in his defence and claimed he had been “practically set up” and was told there would be a minimum of €30,000 in the EBS branch that day.

He told the court he needed money for his addiction, and that this was an act of desperation. He said he was now on methadone and attempting to deal with his addiction.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring complimented Mr O’Brien, who she said had put himself “in the line of fire” to ensure the safety of his staff and customers.

“He went beyond the call of duty,” Judge Ring said before she also commended Garda Egan on “taking on Emmett”.

She imposed a sentence of four years, consecutive to a five-year term Emmett is currently serving.

The final two years of the sentence were suspended after she noted Emmett’s intention to become drug-free.

‘Press no buttons’

Garda Egan told Sinéad McMullan BL, prosecuting, that Emmett approached a cashier with his face covered and hood up before he shouted “Fill it. Press no buttons,” and handed over a bag.

The cashier told him she had no cash in her till, but Emmett came behind the counter.

Mr O’Brien then approached him and tried to explain the situation, but Emmett continued to search the counter using the gun and continued to demand cash.

Mr O’Brien, who was in fear for his safety, his staff and the customer in the shop, tried to edge Emmett towards the door and the raider eventually left the shop with a small amount of cash.

Mr O’Brien then gave chase, which was when Garda Egan intervened.

Garda Egan agreed with Carol Doherty BL, defending, that no one was physical injured during the raid and that he, Garda Egan, had appeared on the scene very quickly.

He accepted it was “not the most sophisticated crime” and that Emmett had dropped a bag of coins during the struggle with him.

Introduced to heroin

Emmett told the court he was introduced to heroin by an older group as a young man. He said he had struggled to get help.

He told Judge Ring he had a good education, was a qualified scaffolder and has continued to try and battle his addiction.

“I never had the tools to deal with outside problems from 14 to 25 years old. I had never mentally grown up like a normal teenager,” Emmett said.