A SAWN-off shotgun was used in the course of two robberies in East Cork in 2016 and three years later the accused turned himself in at Mayfield garda station and confessed to the crimes.
Now at Cork Circuit Criminal Court, Patrick Rolston has been jailed for four years by Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin.
Detective Garda Mark Durcan said that on April 18, 2016, Patrick Rolston armed himself with a sawn-off shotgun and entered the Applegreen at Brooklodge, Glanmire.
“He pointed the shotgun at a member of staff and asked for money.
“He told staff he would not harm them. His face was covered with a scarf. He got away with €1,900 in cash.
“At Little Island post office on May 9, a female postal worker saw a man armed a sawn-off shotgun. He kicked the door in. He told her he would not hurt her.
“He fled with €1,000,” Det Garda Durcan said.
When Patrick Rolston was arrested and questioned he made no admissions.
A file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions and there was deemed to be insufficient evidence on which to prosecute him.
“However, he turned himself in to Mayfield garda station. He gave a correct account of the two robberies,” Det. Garda Durcan said.
Ultimately, he entered guilty pleas to the crimes in court.
Defence barrister, Emmet Boyle said, “He came forward because he felt guilty and remorseful.”
The barrister suggested that the main evidence against the accused came from Rolston’s own admissions.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said that working in a shop and facing someone armed with a sawn-off shotgun must be very frightening and was a serious aggravating factor in the case.
The judge said that the circumstances merited consecutive prison sentences.
But he made the sentences concurrent as he said there were significant, exceptional mitigating factors, notably the admissions made by Rolston in the absence of evidence.
The judge said eight years was merited in light of the defendant’s serious previous convictions.
However, he said that because of the mitigating factors the sentence would be set at five years with the last year suspended.
Rolston, who is from the East Cork area and was most recently living in Mahon in Cork city, thanked the judge before he was taken away to commence his four-year sentence.