THE owner of a local shop, looking forward to meeting his customers on St. Stephen’s Day and asking children what they got from Santa, found himself instead being threatened during an attempted robbery at the store.
Detective Sergeant Kieran O’Sullivan said 23-year-old Lee Cronin tried to rob his local shop, Fairfield Stores, on December 26, 2021 by approaching the counter wearing a mask and keeping his hand in his pocket as he threatened to shoot the shopkeeper.
When this attempt failed, he then declared that he was only messing and even identified himself as Lee Cronin, before leaving the premises.
At Cronin’s sentencing hearing at Cork Circuit Criminal Court, Det Sgt O’Sullivan read the victim impact statement from the owner of Fairfield Stores, where he said that his life had changed so much since the attempted robbery, and that he does not feel safe in both his home and his workplace.
After 17 years serving his local community he said that he knew and valued his customers and on St. Stephen’s Day he was looking forward to meeting them coming in with their children.
However, he said that he now knew the meaning of the saying that “your life can change in a moment”.
Dermot Sheehan, defence barrister, said the accused cooperated with the investigation. Mr Sheehan said the accused was considerably intoxicated at the time of the offence.
He also said the accused had mental health issues.
Judge Dara Hayes said, “This is a serious incident. He is facing a prison sentence. In terms of information I would be anxious to get as much as possible.”
Judge Hayes remanded Lee Cronin in custody for sentencing on June 23, requesting a probation report and a prison governor’s report.
Lee Cronin of Mount Saint Joseph’s Close, Bakers Road, Gurranabraher, Cork, pleaded guilty to an attempted robbery on December 26 2021.
It happened at Fairfield Stores on Knockpogue Avenue, Cork.
When he said, “Give me your money or I will f***ing shoot you”,The shop owner was unable to tell what was in his pocket.
When he refused to give the man any money and then prevented his attempt to go behind the counter, the young man said, “I’m Lee Cronin, I’m only messing.”
Lee Cronin regularly attended the store. He admitted to gardaí he was the person captured on CCTV.