A man who was jailed two months ago as a risk to society for an attempted bank robbery where he carried, a tin of butane gas and he had a lighter taped to his left hand, was described yesterday as recovering good mental health and playing chess in prison.
Defence solicitor, Diarmuid Kelleher, said Noel Cambridge of 22 Willow Park, Douglas Road, Cork, had been suffering delusions and paranoia when he was first before the court.
“In prison he is playing chess and catching up on lost education and trying to work on his fitness.
“He is like a changed man in terms of his mental health,” Mr Kelleher said.
Two months ago at Cork Circuit Criminal Court he was sentenced to three years with the last year suspended for an attempted bank robbery on August 21 2019 at the Allied Irish Bank branch on Douglas Road, Cork.
Cambridge pleaded guilty to a number of other charges yesterday at Cork District Court including counts of driving off without paying for petrol and driving without insurance.
Judge Olann Kelleher sentenced him to a total of five months in prison which run concurrently with the two years imposed on him at the circuit court. The judge also banned him from driving for ten years yesterday.
Mr Kelleher, solicitor, said the defendant’s serious mental health problems stemmed from a motorcycle accident. The solicitor said the defendant was put on strong medication following this accident and afterwards he suffered serious mental health problems.
Mr Kelleher said that after speaking to Noel Cambridge yesterday about the matters before the district court it was clear that the defendant had stabilised significantly and was now doing much better in terms of his mental health.
Garda Barry Lawton previously testified at Cork Circuit Criminal Court that Noel Cambridge arrived at the counter of AIB on Douglas Road, Cork, on August 21 2019 and put a bag-for-life on the counter and told the cashier to put cash in it.
“The cashier asked, ‘Is this a joke?’ The defendant then said, ‘I have blades’,” Garda Lawton said.
Cambridge left the scene emptyhanded. When he returned, Garda JP Twomey – who was off-duty at the time – was present in the bank. The defendant had three knives in an open position. He had glass wrapped in plastic, a Tesco bag, a tin of butane gas, a water bottle cut in half. And on his left hand he had a lighter taped with duct tape. In a follow-up search of his car there was a balaclava, a large knife and a BB gun for shooting ball-bearings.