Crack cocaine addict gets five years in prison for robbery at bookmakers

By Sonya McClean

A chronic crack cocaine and heroin addict, who robbed a bookmakers because he was desperate for cash, has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Ian Quinn (35) used a stool to smash the security glass in front of the cash desks before taking €980 from the registers.

Dublin Courts 4

 

Two female members of staff had spotted him pulling at the front door aggressively minutes before the raid and refused to let him in.

They instead ran into the back office, locked themselves into a toilet and pressed the panic alarm.

Quinn, of Aongus Park, Tallaght, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery at Paddy Powers Bookmakers in Castletymon, Tallaght on September 29, 2015. He has 44 previous convictions and is currently serving a sentence for robbery and possession of an imitation firearm. He is due for release in 2021.

Sarah Jane O’Callaghan BL, defending, said her client, who has 44 previous convictions, was so institutionalised that anytime he was released from custody he did his bedroom up like a prison cell. He then relapsed into drug abuse and “the cycle begins again” with him re-offending.

Detective Garda Gary Corrigan said at the time of Quinn’s arrest he looked practically skeletal and a garda colleague took him to hospital for treatment.

Judge Melanie Greally said Quinn committed the offence shortly after being released from jail. She said he had a chronic heroin addiction at the time which had plagued him over the course of his life.

The judge noted that Quinn was in dire health at the time and under pressure to pay off a drug debt.

Judge Greally said it was a “very frightening” incident for the staff, but said there was very favourable evidence in terms of the efforts Quinn has since made to deal with his addictions.

She said she didn’t intend to extend his time in prison before she suspended the final 12 months of the sentence on strict conditions including that he engage with the Probation Service for two years after his release.

Detective Garda Gary Corrigan told Martina Baxter BL, prosecuting, that while in the bathroom the women heard the robber shouting “come out, come out, I’m going to kill you” before they heard loud banging.

The women rang gardai and stayed where they were for about 10 minutes until everything went quiet. By the time they went back into the front of the bookmakers the gardai had arrived.

Det Garda Corrigan said the culprit had cut himself during the robbery so blood swabs were taken from the scene for forensic analysis.

The women were able to give gardai a description of the raider and Quinn was nominated as a suspect. He was arrested in August 2016 and made full admissions.

The DNA extracted from the blood samples taken from the scene matched his own. He was shown CCTV footage of the raid and said he was sorry and ashamed of what he had done.

Det Garda Corrigan said Quinn told gardai he had been heavily in debt at the time due to his chronic crack cocaine and heroin addiction.

The garda said Quinn was practically skeletal at the time of his arrest but that he now appeared to be in good health.

He told Ms Baxter that both women prepared victim impact reports. One of them suffered from anxiety previous to the robbery and was more anxious afterwards. She was out of work for 12 weeks and needed counselling.

Det Garda Corrigan agreed with Sarah Jane O’Callaghan BL defending, that Quinn was “close to death” at the time of his arrest and his garda colleague took him to hospital for treatment.

He further agreed that he had known the family for quite some time and Quinn had a very strong bond with his young son.

Det Gda Corrigan accepted that Quinn had spent the majority of his life in custody and was “more or less institutionalised”.

Ms O’Callaghan told Judge Greally that Quinn “is in a place now where he wants to make changes.”

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