Defendant jailed after being found guilty of robbery and burglary in Cork city

Defendant jailed after being found guilty of robbery and burglary in Cork city

A woman working behind the counter of a jewellers in Cork city that was robbed by a middle-aged Cork man who vaulted the counter and pushed her to the floor addressed her attacker in her victim statement saying, “Shame on you.” Picture: iStock

A woman working behind the counter of a jewellers in Cork city that was robbed by a middle-aged Cork man who vaulted the counter and pushed her to the floor addressed her attacker in her victim statement saying, “Shame on you.” 

Philip Murphy has now been sentenced to nine years in prison, with the last two years suspended for this robbery and another burglary at a retirement home for priests who served in the missions.

Philip Murphy was guilty of carrying out the robbery on Friday August 14 2020 at Mona’s Antiques, Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork. The same man, who comes from Killala Gardens, Knockhaneeny, Cork, was also sentenced for burgling the African Missions property on Blackrock Road in Cork on an afternoon in July 2020. Murphy had 117 previous convictions. 

The judge sentenced him for both of these crimes and said that in light of the extremely strong evidence against the accused he wondered what was going on in Murphy’s head when he pleaded not guilty and went through trial.

The victim in the Mona’s Antiques robbery, Catherine Buckley, said, “The physical and emotional trauma has shaken me to the core. I have always been very calm and determined. That is lost to me. I am easily distressed and agitated. To the person responsible to this assault and robbery – shame on you.” 

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said, “I fail to see what motivates Mr Murphy. I doubt that at any stage in his life he will rehabilitate himself.

“The offence at the African Missions was a very mean type of offence. He entered what in effect was a care home – almost a hospital – for retired priests back from the missions in late stages of life.

“None of this seems to have penetrated Mr Murphy. There is no element of remorse, no insight, no cooperation.

“And a very short time later he vaulted the counter at Mona’s Antiques. He swept this lady aside. You can see her (on CCTV) suddenly and violently fall to the ground after being thrown down. It is clear from the trial this lady suffered enormously – she felt she lost her voice during the incident she was in such shock. It had a lasting effect on her. But no effect on Mr Murphy.

“I am very worried about his lack of insight and his lack of ability to rehabilitate himself.” 

The jury in both trials only took half an hour re reach unanimous guilty verdicts.

In the Mona’s Antiques trial, Catherine Buckley testified, “He was up on top of the counter before I could think. I was pressing the panic button. I felt something – I don’t know what it was and I ended up lying on my back. I was dazed for a few seconds."

Twice during the robbery Ms Buckley managed to push the raider back – on one occasion managing to get him off the counter.

Ms Buckley did not identify the raider who had a face mask and a distinctively patterned ‘paddy hat’. A short time before the robbery, Detective Garda Cormac Crotty was on duty in Cork city centre in relation to another matter when he spotted and identified Philip Murphy who was known to him. He made a note of seeing him and also made a note of the unusual hat which he described in his garda notebook.

In the burglary witnesses saw a stranger, aged around 50, wearing a pants, jacket and peaked cap on the grounds and entering and exiting buildings belonging to the African Missions, before leaving on the 202 bus.

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