Man (45) who committed four pharmacy robberies is jailed for six years

By Brion Hoban

A man who committed four pharmacy robberies during a seven-month spree has been jailed for six years.

Patrick Fennell (45), of Greenfort Avenue, Clondalkin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two robberies at Smyths Pharmacy, Chaplain’s Place, Clondalkin, on July 19, 2018 and September 10, 2018.

Criminal Courts of Justice 2 09032017

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Fennell also pleaded guilty to two further robberies at Boylan’s Pharmacy, Ballyfermot on October 8, 2018, and at Leonard’s Corner Pharmacy, South Circular Road, on February 22, 2019.

Garda Brendan Shovlin told Barry Ward BL, prosecuting, that on the date in July, Fennell produced a knife in the Clondalkin pharmacy and told the staff that he did not want trouble.

He said he wanted drugs and staff put a number of drugs into a plastic bag and Fennell left the shop.

Garda Shovlin said that in September, Fennell returned to the same pharmacy in which he walked up to the counter with a knife in his hand and told a staff member to fill a plastic bag with drugs. He left the pharmacy with around 10 boxes of drugs and €120 in cash.

Garda Linda Ryan told Mr Ward that on the date in October, Fennell entered the Ballyfermot pharmacy with a balaclava covering his head.

He was erratic and on edge and kept shouting for the till to be opened until he was given around €700 in cash.

Garda Ryan said he then demanded prescription drugs and was also given a large quantity of them. He was pursued from the pharmacy and upon his arrest was found to be in possession of the property as well as a large knife concealed in his sleeve.

Garda William Godfrey told Mr Ward that on the date in February, Fennell entered the South Circular Road pharmacy and proceeded to steal drugs while holding a knife. Fennell was on bail for the October offence at the time of this incident.

Fennell has nine previous convictions, including a conviction for production of an article. He is married and has two teenage children.

Nicola Cox BL, defending, said her client wished to apologise to the victims in this case. She submitted that her client became addicted to crack cocaine in 2016 and committed the robberies in order to obtain money to feed his addiction.

Judge Martin Nolan sentenced Fennell to three years imprisonment on each count. He ordered that they all run concurrently, with the exception of the final offence which will run consecutively to the others, for an effective operating sentence of six-years imprisonment.

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