A Cork man who carried out a robbery at the post office in Little Island was under intense pressure to repay a €50,000 drugs debt to Dublin criminals who threatened his home with a pipe-bomb attack.
Det Garda Edmond O’Donoghue said in court today that the threats made against John Paul Carey, aged 32, of 9 Brooklodge Grove, Glanmire, to repay this debt were very real.
The detective said it was not just threats and that two gunshots were discharged at the home of one of Carey’s relatives.
Detective Garda O’Donoghue said the robbery was carried out by John Paul Carey at 9.20am on May 23, 2019.
“Two males entered Little Island post office. One had a firearm and the other had a wheel brace. They demanded money. They got away with €300 in five-euro notes.
“They fled the scene in a black Mondeo driven by a third male.
“He was arrested later in the day at Glanmire shopping centre. He admitted the offence when interviewed. He was subject of a large drugs debt and was an active drug user funding his drug addiction and paying for a drug debt.
“When arrested he was in a car with two known criminals from Dublin paying over the money to them,” Det. Garda O’Donoghue testified today.
The accused was remanded in custody from the date of the robbery in May last year.
Judge James McCourt imposed a sentence of four and a half years, backdated to last May, with the last two years suspended.
The judge noted from defence submissions from barrister Paula McCarthy that the accused was progressing very well on a methadone programme, with greatly reduced requirements for the treatment.
Judge McCourt also accepted the very significant threats against Carey to pay a drugs debt of €50,000.
“I don’t know how you were ever going to pay it,” the judge said.
Also taken into consideration was his remorse and letter of apology to the woman working in the post office on the day who was trying to put the effects of the robbery behind her.