A shop assistant who was struck on the arm with a steel baton by a young raider has been praying for the young man who struck her during the violent robbery, it emerged todday.
Garda Gary Purtill said at Cork Circuit Criminal Court that the woman did not want to make a victim impact statement but she was still shook up over the crime.
Sinéad Behan, defence barrister who represented 19-year-old Dylan Barry of 145 Kilnap Place, Farranree, Cork, acknowledged that it was a very unpleasant incident for the woman working at the shop that was robbed.
“She is praying for Dylan Barry. It was communicated to us through cousins – Cork is a small place – that she was in fact praying for Mr Barry,” Ms Behan said.
Garda Purtill said the series of crimes involving Dylan Barry and his 22-year-old co-accused, Adrian Cummins of 1 Sunview Court, Sunvalley Drive, Fairhill, Cork, started at 6.40 a.m. on February 28 when they burgled a house at Mourne Avenue, The Glen, Cork, and drove off in a Hyundai jeep parked outside.
Cummins was the driver and Barry the front seat passenger. By 8.30 a.m. they were outside the Costcutters in Grenagh North, County Cork. “Dylan Barry goes into the shop and goes to the till area where a customer was being served. He waits for the customer to be served. Mr Barry then engages in a transaction with the shop assistant. He buys some confectionery.
“The sales assistant opens the till. He produces a steel baton and hits the sales assistant on the arm with the baton. He takes €45 from the till in €5 and €10 notes,” Garda Purtill said.
The shop manager and a customer who was present prevented Dylan Barry from leaving the Costcutters and gardaí were called.
Adrian Cummins who was outside in the car drove off when he was approached by the shop manager. He crashed into a ditch, writing off the Hyundai which was worth €12,000, and went into a farmyard shed near the scene of the crash. He tried to hotwire vehicles in the shed. He damaged a camper van in the process, also damaged a Nissan Micra which he managed to get going and he then crashed the Micra into a vintage car that was also in the shed causing about €2,000 damage to the classic.
Judge Boyle sentenced both men to two years in jail. She suspended the last six months of the sentence imposed on Cummins and suspended the last 12 months of Barry’s sentence.
John Devlin, barrister for Cummins, said the young man had two tragedies in his family where his mother and 14-year-old brother died and he was effectively reared by his older sister. He developed an addiction to tablets, Mr Devlin said.
Garda Purtill said Barry doubted he could have done something like striking the shop assistant on the arm and was shocked to see evidence of it on the CCTV that was shown to him. “He was remorseful and shocked,” Garda Purtill said.