Man given soccer trials guilty of robberies


A 21-year-old man who once had trials with top English soccer clubs has been remanded in custody for sentence by Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for a series of robberies.

Damian Nugent had trials with the English Premier Division club Chelsea and with Millwall when he was about 15, but he developed drink and drug problems and lost any chance of a football career.

Nugent, of no fixed abode, who gave himself up to gardai after his girlfriend's house was searched, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to five counts of robbing video shops and pharmacies between February and April 2001.

Judge Elizabeth Dunne remanded him for sentencing on November 12th, saying she would see what progress he made with regard to detoxification between now and then.

Gardai Gary McCabe and Gerry Lee said that in each robbery Nugent put his hand in his pocket and threatened to use a weapon if he was not given money. While he never produced a weapon, he stole almost £2,000.

Garda Lee said that when Nugent gave himself up to gardai in Santry he said he wanted to "get this thing sorted out".