A YOUNG man who was never in trouble before, armed himself with a machete and lashed it down on the counter of a garage terrifying the young woman working there, and has now been remanded in custody.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin remanded 24-year-old Jamie Quilligan, previously of Chestnut Close, Mahon, now living in Glanmire, in custody until May 17 on the charge of carrying out a robbery at the Circle K garage, Blackrock Road, at 5.30 pm on November 17, 2019, and for producing a machete during the robbery.
Detective Garda Seán Stack agreed with a number of propositions by defence barrister Nikki O’Sullivan in relation to his absence of previous convictions and the fact that he was desperately trying to clear a drugs debt.
However, when Ms O’Sullivan BL characterised the robbery as “very mad and disorganised,” Det Garda Stack said, “I would not agree.”
Judge Ó Donnabháin also said, “I appreciate it was a first conviction but it was very organised.”
Remanding the accused in custody until May 17, the judge said that he would consider a report from an addiction counsellor at that stage.
Detective Garda Seán Stack gave evidence of how the crime was committed.
“On November 17, 2019, he entered the Circle K filling station armed with a machete and he started banging the counter very aggressively with it, putting the lone female behind the counter in fear. He was continuously aggressive,” Det Garda Stack said.
He got away with €400 in cash and a cash register drawer containing another €305. Gardaí were nearby at the time and Jamie Quilligan was identified. The defendant left the Circle K on Blackrock Road and went down by a nearby laneway to the amenity walk where he changed his clothes and hid the proceeds of his crime.
He then walked along the Marina. He was arrested a short time later.
In his first interview he denied everything. In the second he made some admissions. Finally, in the third interview he was shown the clothing stashed on the amenity walk and he admitted they were his.
The till and the cash was recovered. Det Garda Stack said everything was recovered apart from the machete. The judge asked the detective, “Where did the machete go?” Det Garda Stack replied, “I believe, the river.”
The victim impact statement was prepared by the 19-year-old woman who was alone behind the counter when the robbery was carried out.
This was not read out in court but the judge said, “This 19-year-old was very upset by this and she cannot understand why it happened. Scared after it happened she finds it difficult to explain this to herself or anyone else.”
Ms O’Sullivan BL said, “He [the defendant] was working in door security prior to this. It was his first offence ever. He did make admissions. During the first interview he apologised to the young lady.
“He entered a drug treatment programme for two months.”
Judge Ó Donnabháin noted that the treatment centre was named as the Christian Centre Trust in Tipperary and commented, “It is not redolent with forensic professionalism. He goes for rehabilitation, they go for a walk in The Devil’s Bit and they come home refreshed.”
The judge said it was unusual for a young man to get involved in a first instance of criminality at such a serious level.
Ms O’Sullivan BL said Quilligan had been using drugs and got himself into a debt he was desperate to pay. “He was in a very low place and he saw this as his only way out,” she said.