By Stephen Bourke
A Dublin father of three has been jailed for two years for robbing a convenience store with a knife just three months after he was released from a sentence for mugging a Trinity College student at gunpoint.
Diarmuid Molloy (41), with an address at Gardiner Street, Dublin 1, pleaded guilty to robbing a Centra on Charlemont Street on November 23, 2020, and two counts of stealing beer from the shop earlier that day.
He has 73 previous convictions, 19 of them for theft.
Garda Martin Doolan told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting, that Molloy was identified on CCTV as a man who had walked out of the shop carrying a 12-pack of Budweiser cans at 4.45pm that day.
Having been told by a cashier to put it back, the man replied: “You’re only working here,” and left – only to return half an hour later and walk out with two more cases of beer.
The cashier told gardaí there was very little he could do and so continued serving customers, only to look up and see the man in front of him again – this time pointing a knife at him.
“Keep the till open – give me four fifties,” Molloy told him. He handed over banknotes.
As he stuffed the knife into his waistband, he told the cashier it was a “proper blade” and not a fake knife, Garda Doolan confirmed to Ms Small.
It was later found that the till was short €210.
Molloy was identified on CCTV and arrested at the guest house on Gardiner Street where he was living. He has remained in custody since the date of the offence.
Ms Small said the robbery was a triggering offence for her application to activate the suspended 18 months of Molloy’s previous sentence of six years for robbing a young woman studying at Trinity College at gunpoint on March 25, 2017 at Gloucester Street.
Detective Garda Eoghan Kirwan told the court Molloy put his arm around the woman’s neck and a gun to her head, and ordered her to hand over her belongings as he threatened to shoot her.
Her textbooks, ID card and knitting was later found scattered in the street
Molloy had that sentence backdated to the date of his arrest and was released on August 12, 2020, Det Gda Kirwan confirmed, with the Centra robbery taking place a little over three months later on the November 11, 2020.
Carol Doherty, BL, defending, said Molloy had been given an opportunity with the suspension of a portion of the previous sentence to “promote good and pro-social behaviour” but accepted “within a few months he had relapsed”.
He had been abused in care as a young child and secured “substantial monetary compensation”.
“He spent all of this money on drugs like heroin and crack cocaine,” she said.
Det Gda Kirwan also confirmed gardaí had informed Molloy of a death threat a short time after his release.
Judge Cormac Quinn said he accepted the robbery was not a “sophisticated” crime and that Molloy was co-operative with gardaí.
He sentenced him to three years for the robbery of the Centra, taking the beer theft charges into account, suspending the final 12 months.
Judge Quinn also activated nine months of the 18-month period of suspension for the robbery in 2017, to be served consecutively, giving him a total suspended term of 21 months.
This was on condition that Molloy keep the peace and be of good behaviour while in prison and after release, and be subjected to two years’ post-release supervision.
“I think he’s doing very well at this point,” Ms Doherty said.