AN ARMED robber who used a knife to demand money at a Limerick betting shop had his case adjourned for five months after a circuit court said he was “in the best condition” he had seen.
John Hayes, (43) of Hartigan Villas, Moyross, pleaded guilty to the attempted robbery of a bookie office on August 21, 2013.
Sergeant Ivan Muldoon told Limerick Circuit Court that Gardaí were alerted to an incident at the Paddy Power betting shop on Upper William Street after a man entered the premises and demanded money from the all-female members of staff.
John Hayes, who had 180 previous convictions, was in a nearby pub and borrowed an orange hoody from an “associate” he was drinking with.
When entered the betting shop, he demanded the money and produced a knife from his sleeve.
The staff refused to hand over the money and Hayes ran from the shop when they hit the panic button.
Sergeant Muldoon said that he obtained “very good quality” CCTV footage of Hayes returning to the pub a short time after his attempted robbery.
When he was arrested and questioned, he admitted the offence.
Stating that none of the staff at the betting shop made victim impact statements, Judge Tom O’Donnell said that one of them said she was frightened and afraid that she “works in premises prone to this type of incident”.
Judge O’Donnell said he agreed that attacks like that “leaves staff vulnerable”.
He said that the defendant had a serious and chronic heroin addiction and most of his previous convictions date back to 1985. Most of them were carried out to feed his chronic drug habit.
After considering a number of probation reports, Judge O’Donnell said that he was prepared to give Hayes a chance and adjourned the case to October 4.
“The court is well aware of Mr Hayes and he is in the best condition I’ve seen for a long while. There are positive aspects in the reports and I’m prepared to give him a chance, but I am also giving liberty for the State and the Probation Services to reenter the matter if the need arises”, he added.