A homeless man walked into a travel agents moments after it had opened for the day’s business and told the woman behind the counter, “I have a knife here, I don’t want to use it.”
Andrew Foley, 44, of Cork Simon Community pleaded guilty to carrying out the attempted robbery.
He also admitted to snatching a purse from a table outside a pub on Parnell Place on another occasion. The purse conained cash and travel documents for a visitor to the city who was about to get a flight home to Germany with her family.
Prosecution barrister Ray Boland said it was accepted by the state that in fairness to Foley, there was no evidence that he actually had a knife at the travel agents.
Furthermore, he assisted in getting back the stolen purse for the German visitor so that she was able to travel home.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed an 18-month suspended sentence on Foley who was represented by barrister Alison McCarthy at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
He admitted attempted robbery at Pab Travel 18A Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork, on May 31 2019.
He also pleaded guilty to stealing a purse with €80 cash and German ID card from a woman at Parnell Place, Cork, on June 21 2019.
Garda Patrick Russell testified that the staff member at Pab Travel had just opened the premises that morning when the accused entered the premises.
“He approached the counter and said, ‘I have a knife here, I don’t want to use it’. He had his hand in his pocket and he was pointing in a threatening manner,” Garda Russell said.
He demanded cash but the member of staff said there was no money on the premises. In all he remained in the shop for two minutes before leaving.
In the second incident the German visitor was sitting at a table with family members on Parnell Place.
He crouched down behind a decorative fence and reached his hand over to take the purse from the table.
The owner confronted him but he denied taking it and made off towards the bus station where she lost sight of him.
He was arrested a short time later and told gardaí where he had hidden the purse which was returned to the owner.
Judge Ó Donnabháin noted that the defendant was attending rehabilitation for a drug problem and had no further transgressions since these two offences were committed last year.