A Letterkenny man who robbed a betting shop in the town by jumping the counter, pushing the cashier out of the way before he stole over 400 euro, was jailed for ten months.
Gavin Mitchell of 43 Windmill View, Letterkenny was charged with the robbery at Wizzy Brown Bookmakers on Lower Main Street on August 13th, 2009.
Letterkenny District Court heard Mitchell entered the premises at 10am and jumped over the counter. He pushed the cashier on duty out of the way, handed them a note saying “you’re being robbed” and took 405 euro in cash from a drawer.
He made off on foot and was not disguised at the time.
The robber was clearly identified by the store’s CCTV and was arrested later that evening and made a full admission to gardai.
Garda Inspector Kevin Gately said no weapon was used and the shop employee was unhurt.
Mitchell has a number of previous convictions for theft, burglary, assault, and public order offences.
Solicitor Frank Dorrian said his client had a troubled past and spent much of his adult life in prison.
“He did fall prey to drug addiction at 13 and spiralled out of control at that time. These included class A drugs, heroin, cocaine and the full range available to him and it affected his behaviour,” the solicitor stated.
He said his client, a father of three, had been “very angry” in the past but his temperament had now changed.
On the day of the crime he said Mitchell was in the company of a number of “non-nationals” and after a “tussle” with them he fled the house “irrational and in a frenzy”.
He said the crime was not premeditated and Wizzy Browns was the “first bookies he entered”.
“It was not planned and completely purposeless. There was CCTV and he had no disguise. He gave the money to somebody else that he didn’t even know,” Mr. Dorrian said.
Judge Paul Kelly said it was a “terrifying and frightening experience” for the cashier and added Mitchell has a “very considerable record for theft and burglary”.
He sentenced him to ten months in prison.