The getaway driver for a cash box robbery in which a man was held at gunpoint with an imitation firearm has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.
Graham Doyle (34) drove a car which was later found to contain items designed to gain entry to the security box and destroy any evidence on the box including hacksaws, a hammer, a chisel and bottles of bleach.
Doyle of The Iona, Prospect Hill, Finglas, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the robbery of €27,800 in cash at Aldi, Main Street, Clonee, Co Meath, on January 6, 2020.
He has 23 previous convictions, including convictions for theft, public order and road traffic offences.
The court heard that his co-accused James Tracey (32) of Dunsink Park, Finglas was sentenced in February 2021 to seven years imprisonment with the final two years suspended.
Detective Sergeant Martin Mahon told Garret Baker BL, prosecuting, that on the date in question, a garda surveillance operation was in place and a Toyota Auris driven by the accused was spotted in the area prior to the robbery.
Det Sgt Mahon said the injured party Nicholas Murphy, then aged 30, was working for a security company and had picked up six bags of cash from the supermarket which he had placed in a security box.
Mr Murphy had just left the supermarket when Tracey aimed an imitation firearm at him and shouted to drop the security box containing the cash.
Mr Murphy dropped the box and Tracey picked it up before making his escape.
A garda member observed the Toyota Auris driven by Doyle pulled in on the outbound lane of the M3 motorway, a location near to where the robbery took place.
The garda observed Doyle get out of the car and open the passenger side door before returning to the driver’s seat.
Tracey emerged from nearby foliage carrying the box and began making his way towards the car. Gardaí then moved in and intercepted both men and the entire sum of €27,800 in cash was recovered.
The car was searched and found to contain a “tool kit” which was “designed to gain entry to the security box and destroy any evidence on the box”, Dt Sgt Mahon said.
The kit included hacksaws, a wrench, a hammer, a chisel, bottles of bleach, rags and pairs of gloves.
Det Sgt Mahon said Doyle was known to gardaí in Finglas and other stations and was not co-operative with the investigation.
The detective sergeant agreed with Dean Kelly SC, defending, that his client has worked over the years predominantly in the security industry.
Mr Kelly said his client was a young man who had worked throughout his life and was offered “an opportunity” to earn money in “a different way”.
He said his client now understands “with clarity” the pain and suffering this behaviour inflicts on others.
Counsel said his client’s father is being treated for cancer and that his client would drive him to engagements. He said his client is the father of two young children.
Judge Pauline Codd said Doyle is prosecuted as part of a joint enterprise with his co-accused and the courts views both men as being “equally culpable”.
Judge Codd sentenced Doyle to seven years imprisonment, but suspended the final two-and-a-half years on strict conditions.