A man who took part in a staged robbery from a filling station in Ballina did so in order to pay back money owed as part of a drug debt.
At Ballina District Court this week it was heard that on January 15 2012 at 9.45pm, gardaí received a report of an aggravated burglary from Top Oil, Crossmolina Road, Ballina. CCTV showed two men entering the filling station where they kicked in the door of the office where a female worker was inside counting money. One of the men was armed with a knife and €993 was stolen.
The woman alerted gardaí and her supervisor. It transpired from investigations that the woman was in fact an accomplice and was a girlfriend at the time of one of the men—Derek Wilson, 16 Abbeycourt, Killala Road, Ballina.
Suspicion was roused as any money over the float of €350 was normally lodged in the safe, however it was not done on that night. The woman admitted to gardaí that it was a staged robbery and she was dealt with by way of adult caution.
Wilson (33 ) who pleaded guilty to theft told gardaí that he did it in order to get out of a large drug debt for which people from Dublin were after him.
Solicitor Peter Loftus said that it was due to this “personal threat” that Wilson “concocted this sham robbery in cahoots” with his girlfriend of the time. Wilson has 32 convictions in the UK and 11 previous convictions in Ireland
Judge Mary Devins convicted and fined him €500 and sentenced him to six months in prison.