By Sonya McLean
A robber who turned up at a local solicitor’s office to admit to the raid because he wanted to be put into prison has been jailed for mugging a homeless man the previous year.
Dylan Deegan (24) was on bail for two previous robberies when he approached the counter in the Insomnia Café in Belgard Square West, Tallaght and demanded money from the till.
Staff, who later said they were in fear, “threw €100 at him” and he ran out, Garda Adrian O’Sullivan said.
Gardaí arrived at the scene after the panic alarm was activated and circulated a description of the suspect, having viewed CCTV footage of the raid.
They tracked Deegan to The Square Shopping Centre in Tallaght where he was captured on CCTV getting into a taxi.
Gda O’Sullivan said they made contact with the taxi driver after noting his registration plate from the footage and he told them where he had dropped Deegan.
A solicitor from a local practice then contacted gardaí and said a man had just walked into the office and said he wanted to hand himself in because he had just committed a robbery.
Deegan was arrested and interviewed.
He said he stole money from the shop and ran out the door. He said he was “very suicidal”, was addicted to drugs and wanted to go into custody.
Gda O’Sullivan confirmed that the cash was never recovered and Deegan was not armed at the time of the robbery.
Deegan of The Grove, Belgard Heights, Tallaght, Dublin 24 pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery of a man at the Back Lane Hostel on April 21, 2020.
He further pleaded guilty to robbery of €684 from Cash for Clothes in Tallaght and production of a knife on July 2, 2020 and finally to the robbery of Insomnia on February 17, 2021.
Deegan has been on remand in custody since February this year.
He has 15 previous convictions for offences including aggravated burglary, robbery, public order and assault.
Yesterday Judge Melanie Greally sentenced Deegan to three and half years in prison for a violent mugging in April 2020 after he and another man lured a homeless man into a laneway.
The victim believed he was going to get drugs from the men.
Judge Greally noted that the victim was struck by both men and hit on the head before €340 in cash was taken from.
In a victim impact statement that man said he has back on anti-depressants since the robbery having previously survived without the medication for six years.
He sustained cuts and bruises and was “very uptight” since the offence and found it hard to motivate himself in his daily life.
Judge Greally noted that Deegan committed a second robbery while on bail for this mugging before he raided Insomnia while again on bail.
She noted that these two additional robberies would have be consecutive to each other and the jail term she imposed yesterday.
She adjourned the sentencing of the robbery of Insomnia and the second robbery to October 19, 2021 and ordered a report from the Probation Service for that date.
John Griffin BL, defending, handed in a psychological report which outlined his client’s difficult childhood.
He said Deegan had felt abandoned, unwanted and unloved as a child and took drugs “to numb the pain”.
He said Deegan had written letters of apology to each of his victims. “He has a deep sorrow for what he has done. He is honestly truly sorry,” Mr Griffin said.
He said the offence were committed “in act of desperation to fund a drug addiction”.