By Eimear Dodd
A man who threatened shop workers while carrying out a spate of robberies has been handed a five-year prison sentence.
Raymond Boyle (51) pleaded guilty to three counts of robbery at shops in the Finglas area in August 2021 and March 2022.
Boyle of Clearstream Court, McKee Avenue, Finglas has 14 previous convictions including two for robbery, which date back to 2012.
Imposing sentence yesterday, Judge Codd said this was “criminality of an egregious level”.
She said these incidents would have been “terrifying” for the victims, who “work on the frontline dealing with the public, handling cash”.
“These people have to be protected,” she added.
Judge Codd imposed a total sentence of six years with the final 12 months suspended on strict conditions, including that Boyle place himself under the supervision of the Probation Service.
Garda Ryan Concannon told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that Boyle entered Top Oil, Finglas at 7.25pm on August 1, 2021 wearing a grey tracksuit and a facemask.
He used a hammer to smash the till a number of times and shouted at a staff member to give him money from the tills.
Boyle then pulled a ten inch knife from the waistband of his trousers and repeated his demand for money. Boyle told the man to “give me the money or I’ll stab you”.
The shop worker was in fear for his safety and handed over change and notes from the tills.
The following day, Boyle attempted to rob Food Junction, Finglas at 5.40pm.
Boyle entered the shop wearing a facemask and was told by a female shop worker that the floors were wet.
The accused told her to stand back, as he had a gun and would shoot her.
At this stage, a male colleague in his early 70s came out of the office and ran at Boyle, who left the shop.
Judge Codd commended the “courageous” and “valiant” actions of the man who came to the aid of his colleague.
On August 3, 2021, Boyle carried out a robbery at Proper 11 takeaway in Finglas.
During this incident, he took out a knife and demanded the contents of the till.
He made away with €104.
Gardai on patrol spotted Boyle acting suspiciously a short while later.
When they searched him, they found a knife which it is believed was used in the robbery of Proper 11 takeaway.
Boyle entered the Daybreak shop on Jamestown Road, Finglas at 4.55pm on March 7, 2022.
The shop worker initially thought Boyle’s request for money was a joke, until he pulled out a screwdriver.
Boyle told her to “give me the money and no one gets hurt”.
The shop worker started to scream, and told Boyle that she could not open the till as it is electronically locked.
She then went to a safe below the till and took out a empty butter tub containing a till float of €260, which she left on the counter.
The worker moved away as she was terrified.
Boyle was stopped nearby by gardaí who also recovered CCTV showing the route Boyle took from his residence to the shop.
A victim impact statement was read to the court on behalf of one of the owners of Proper 11.
He said he did not feel safe after the robbery and changed career.
The business was also shut for a week, leading to costs of around €5,800.
Gda Concannon agreed with Aoife O’Leary BL, defending, that her client had been living with his mother at this time.
While Boyle made no admissions during interview, Gda Concannon accepted the accused had said he was taking drugs.
Gda Concannon also confirmed that gardaí had been willing to agree to strict bail conditions to allow Boyle to attend residential treatment, but no place became available.
Ms O’Leary asked Judge Codd to take into account Boyle’s guilty plea and his serious addiction issues.
A number of references were handed into court from previous employers.
Ms O’Leary said Boyle had a long history of work but turned to drugs after facing serious difficulties in his personal life.
His addiction is at the root of his offending behaviour, Ms O’Leary said.
She added that her client had managed to deal with his addiction previously, but relapsed following a period of abstinence.
Ms O’Leary said her client had shown himself to be someone who could rehabilitate themselves.
He now wants to access addiction services, and is on a waitlist in custody.
He is an enhanced prisoner.
Judge Codd said she considered the threats made during this offending to be an aggravating factor along with Boyle’s previous record of offending.
She noted in mitigation that Boyle is capable of “supporting himself” and “staying away from offending” when drug-free.
Judge Codd also noted Boyle’s wish to address his addiction, which appears to underpin his offending.