Man who has spent 27 years in prison jailed for a further six years for a robbery and attempted robbery

Dublin People 15 May 2024

By David O’Sullivan and Natasha Reid

A 48-year-old grandfather who has spent 27 years in prison has been jailed for a further six years for a post office robbery and the attempted robbery of a B&B in Dublin City.

Jason Fogarty, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to one count of robbery at Merrion Row, Dublin on November 5, 2019 and one count of attempted robbery at Gardiner Place, Dublin on May 12, 2023. He was on bail for the first offence when he committed the other.

Additional counts of assault causing harm were taken into consideration.

Judge Pauline Codd sentenced Fogarty to four years for the 2019 post office robbery, during which he threatened the cashier that a grenade would be thrown into her home if anything went wrong.

She sentenced him to a consecutive three years, with one suspended, for the attempted B&B raid in 2023.

Detective Garda Robert Mahoney said that on the day in question in November 2019, Fogarty entered a post office on Merrion Row, Dublin 2. He was wearing a jacket, hat and gloves but his face was visible.

Fogarty approached the counter of the post office where one staff member was working.

There was a protective screen separating the two.

He passed her a note which told her it was a robbery and that she shouldn’t press anything.

He also produced what appeared to be a firearm wrapped in a white plastic bag.

The letter said that if anything went wrong: “There’s another man at the door who will send a text and your home will have a grenade put in the window.”

It also said: “No one wants to get hurt…… we all want to go home. Open the door.”

The court heart that the staff member was afraid that if she didn’t let Fogarty past the protective screen, he would shoot her.

She opened the door and Fogarty came in. He took €7730 and £6000 from the tills and a safe before fleeing the post office.

The staff member then pressed a panic alarm and gardai were called.

Gardai identified Fogarty using CCTV from the post office They searched his home and found €5730 wrapped in tin foil the following day.

The rest of the money was not recovered.

Fogarty initially denied that he was the person shown in the footage and said he had received the money as inheritance.

However, the note handed in to the post office had his fingerprint on it.

No victim impact statement from the staff member was handed in to the court.

Fogarty was charged in November 2019 and stayed in custody until March 2020 when he was released on compassionate grounds due to family difficulties.

While on bail, he attempted another robbery of a B&B.

Garda Darragh O’Connor told the court that at around 9pm on May 12, 2023, Fogarty attempted to rob a B&B on Gardiner Place, Dublin 1.

He entered the B&B wearing a medical mask around his chin and blue medical gloves.

He approached a staff member who was working there and told him it was a robbery.

Fogarty said an air freshener he brought with him was filled with acid and that he would throw it in the man’s face if he didn’t open a safe.

He grabbed the staff member’s phone, but the man stood up and said he couldn’t have it.

Fogarty responded by saying: “I’ll stab you.”

There was pushing and shoving between the two men which ultimately ended up with both of them grappling on the floor.

Fogarty punched the man two or three times but was overpowered and the staff member got his phone back.

The staff member pushed Fogarty out of the building and locked the door behind him.

Fogarty picked up a stool and smashed the glass door and came back in.

At that stage, the staff member told Fogarty the safe was locked with a code and that only the manager could open it. Fogarty then left.

Gardai were called and they identified Fogarty through the CCTV.

They arrested him and he admitted the attempted robbery.

During interview, he apologized and wished the staff member, “the very best for the future”.

The staff member told gardai he had a chest injury and cuts to his hand.

When he attended hospital days later, he found out his rib had been fractured.

In a victim impact statement handed in to the court, the staff member described how he had to switch to a new job that doesn’t pay as well as he didn’t want to be at risk of another, similar incident.

He also said he suffers from nightmares and stress as a result of the attempted robbery and that he has had to attend a therapist.

Fogarty has 66 previous convictions, including for burglary, theft, robbery, public order, criminal damage and misuse of drugs.

Emer Ní Chúagáin BL, defending, told the court that Fogarty had been in and out of custody for the vast majority of his adult life.

She said he had significant difficulties from a young age and left school very early.

“By 13, he was addicted to heroin,” she explained. “He was in Juvenile Detention at 12 or 13 regarding anti-social behaviour. He’s 48 and has spent 27 years in prison.”

She said that he had suffered abuse while in the juvenile detention centre, and has since had periods of offending, addiction and rehabilitation.

“Mr Fogarty commits offences when in active addiction,” she said.

She said that following the death of his brother two years ago, he made a very serious attempt on his own life and spent 10 weeks in hospital receiving treatment for his injuries.

She said he had a good relationship with his 22-year-old daughter and has a grandchild.

He also acts as a stepfather to his partner’s son.

“He understands and acknowledges that his actions caused upset to the victims.

He has expressed remorse for his actions,” she said.

“These offences are linked to his addiction.”

Judge Codd noted that Fogarty “hasn’t been deterred by lengthy periods of incarceration”.

She said it was clear that the accused came from a very difficult background in terms of his upbringing, had an entrenched drug addiction from a young age and mental health difficulties.

She imposed four years for the post office robbery and three years for the B&B offence, both to run consecutively, but suspended the final year.

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