A man who drove the getaway car in a late night robbery at a Co Longford post office in August has been sentenced to six months in prison.
Kean Doherty, with an address at 52 Cherry Orchard Court, Ballyfermot, Dublin 10 pleaded guilty to stealing almost €500 in cash from Bell’s Shop, Newtownforbes, Co Longford on August 8 2017.
The 19-year-old Dubliner will, however, only spend the next two months in prison as he has been in custody since the beginning of August.
His date for release, the court was told, is January 18 2018, when his sentence in connection to an unrelated incident is due to expire.
He is the fourth and final member of a Dublin based gang who have been successfully charged and convicted over the incident.
Inspector Blaithin Moran said gardaí were alerted to an incident at the Newtownforbes outlet shortly after 11pm.
When they arrived, gardaí found the front door had been forced in and two tills removed.
A car, later identified to be a silver Honda Civic was eventually identified and intercepted with Mr Doherty being found at the wheel.
Inspector Moran said the total damage to the cash drawers amounted to €2,000 with €800 to its front door.
Mr Doherty, stood patiently at the side of the courtroom as details of his 34 previous convictions were relayed to Judge Seamus Hughes.
His solicitor Frank Gearty said in spite of that lengthy record, his client had already spent the past two months in prison waiting for the case to be decided.
“I acknowledge it was a serious matter and to be fair to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) it (case) was kept in the District Court he (Mr Doherty) has spent the past while on remand,” he said.
Mr Gearty added it was his representative’s addiction to drugs which brought about the “terrible offending” capped off by the Bell’s break-in.
Despite those claims, Judge Hughes said he was alarmed by the extent of Mr Doherty’s offending for someone so young.
“You have spent most of your adult life in prison and as sure as night follows day you will be spending the rest of your life in prison if you continue down this path,” he told Mr Doherty.
The Dubliner, who asked to be remanded back to Wheatfield Prison to continue a drugs rehabilitation programme, admitted he had taken cocaine and benzo tablets on the night of the incident.
It was also revealed through his solicitor that Mr Doherty was also learning to read and write.
Judge Hughes advised him to continue down that path and to steer clear of the dependencies which had brought about his predilection to commit crime.
“If your brain is damaged there is no operation that can bring it back,” said the Judge.
That said, he indicated that the message needed to go out that such an incident as the one in Newtownforbes could not go unpunished.
In sentencing Mr Doherty to six months behind bars, Judge Hughes said: “Breaking into a post office in rural Ireland is a serious matter and can’t be tolerated”.
The six month term was consequently backdated to August 4 when Mr Doherty first went into custody.