A DISTRICT court judge has described the burglary of a Kinsale pharmacy on a summer’s evening as ‘literally daylight robbery’ with the incident occurring in full view of numerous eye witnesses.
Judge James McNulty made the comment at Bandon District Court when sentencing Robert Boyd (35) of 3 Church View, Ballinspittle, to nine months in prison on charges of burglary, possessing a golf club during the course of a burglary, and criminal damage.
His accomplice, Edward Ryan of 2 Castle View, Kilbrittain, received an eight months’ sentence – suspended for two years – for some of the offences, while he was also directed to carry out community service on the theft charges.
Sgt Paul Kelly told the court that on July 11th last at 7.01pm gardaí in Kinsale received a report of a burglary taking place at Moloney’s Pharmacy in Emmet Place.
‘When gardaí arrived on the scene they saw two males running away from there and they were known to them,’ said Gda Kelly.
‘It transpired that Mr Boyd broke a side window in the premises using a golf club while Mr Ryan waited outside with a bag, which was later recovered, and had 700 tablets in it, to the value of €200.’
Both men were arrested and taken to Bandon Garda Station where they made full admissions, while there was also CCTV footage available and a number of eyewitnesses came forward.
The court heard that Mr Boyd has 47 previous convictions which include public order offending, assault, simple drug possession, careless driving and the unauthorised taking of a vehicle.
Solicitor Tony Greenway said his client ‘should know better at this stage’ and that a lot of his offences were due to the misuse of alcohol and cannabis.
‘My client and Mr Ryan had started the day playing pitch ‘n’ putt in Garrettstown and had a few bottles while there. They went into Kinsale afterwards and had more beer and spirits and by evening time they were very drunk,’ said Mr Greenway.
‘They had gone into an alley to drink more and it was a totally off-the-spur decision to rob the chemist.’ He said that Mr Ryan was so drunk he didn’t even know what was happening.
Mr Greenway said his client took boxes of tablets and threw them out the window and didn’t even know what was in them.
‘This occurred in daylight and people immediately contacted gardaí – they got no further that the footpath as they were incapable of going anywhere.’
He said it was an ‘outrageous stupid incident’ and that both want to apologise for their actions and that Mr Boyd is willing to pay for the damage to the window.
Judge McNulty said the offence occurred on a summer’s evening in Kinsale and people were about.
‘He was found in the process of stealing tablets and not paracetamol for headaches. It is literally daylight robbery and the court has to deal with it through a custodial sentence,’ said Judge McNulty. He sentenced him to nine months in prison on each of the charges which are to run concurrently.
Mr Greenway, who also represented Edward Ryan, said his client is not a heavy drinker and became very drunk quickly.
‘His recollection is vague and he recalls being in Garrettstown and going to Kinsale but when gardaí showed him the CCTV he was thoroughly ashamed,’ said Mr Greenway.
‘He didn’t even know what was going in and has never been involved in any incident like this before. He was totally intoxicated and was unaware of the gravity of what was going on. He was physically ill at Bandon Garda Station and both men couldn’t be interviewed until the day after.’
The court heard that he has three previous convictions, including two for the possession of drugs, with his last offence recorded in 2013.
Judge McNulty said that both men were involved in the burglary but noted their ‘culpability is different’ and said that Mr Ryan was literally ‘the bag man’, while Mr Boyd was the principal offender.
Judge McNulty convicted him on the burglary charge and directed him to carry out 200 hours of community service under the supervision of the probation services.
He also convicted him of possessing a golf club during the course of a burglary and sentenced him to eight months in prison but suspended it for two years on condition that he keep the peace and commit no offence during that period. ‘If he re-offends over the next two years, the probation services or the gardaí can re-enter the matter and, if proven, the sentence can be activated,’ he said.