Man produced knife during attempted robbery at Cork off-licence

The man has 221 previous convictions over the last 14 years including counts for robbery and seven for carrying knives.
Man produced knife during attempted robbery at Cork off-licence

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A Cork man who produced a knife during the attempted robbery of an off-licence in Cork realises he has reached the point of do or die in dealing with his addictions.

He was jailed for two and a half years today.

Judge Helen Boyle imposed a sentence of three and a half years on Darren O’Neill, 31, but suspended the last year of that term at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

Darren O’Neill (also known as Darren Lenihan) of Cork Simon Community admitted possession of a knife and attempted robbery on August 13 at Coburg Street, Cork.

Attempted robbery

Detective Sergeant Kieran O’Sullivan said the attempted robbery occurred at 6.17pm on August 13.

“The accused entered Number 21 off-licence at the top of Coburg Street at the junction with St Patrick’s Hill.

“He selected a number of items of alcohol in the rear of the store and place them in a plastic bag and made no attempt to pay for them. As he was leaving the manager confronted him.

“He returned the items and he had (an) altercation with the manager. He pulled the knife out of his pocket. He was brandishing it in a threatening manner. Gardaí arrived at the scene.

“CCTV was harvested and Darren O’Neill was identified as the suspect. A member of An Garda Síochána spotted him the next day wearing the same clothing.

“When questioned he said he did not take out a knife, that it was a metal bar. However, the CCTV was of excellent quality and you can clearly see it was a knife,” Det Sgt O’Sullivan said.

Det Sgt O’Sullivan said the young man working as manager at the store was used to people shoplifting at the premises but that on this occasion a knife was produced. He chose not to make a victim impact statement.

Previous convictions

Darren O’Neill, 31, has 221 previous convictions over the last 14 years including counts for robbery and seven for carrying knives.

“His drug addiction has escalated over the years as can be seen from his convictions. He is living in the Simon community for a long time,” the detective said.

Defence barrister, Sinead Behan, said the accused lacked parental supervision and education growing up. She said he knew his drug addiction was so serious that in terms of rehabilitation he was in a “do or die” situation.

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