Jail for Tralee man for robbery at garage wielding an axe

A Tralee man who terrified two employees of a filling station when he entered wielding an axe and demanding money, has begun a two-and-a -half-year prison term.

Emmett Coffey of 48 Fountain Court, Tralee, pleaded guilty to robbery at Kelleher’s Garage in Rathass on January 27, 2016.

Tralee Circuit Criminal Court was told the accused has 25 previous convictions and is well known to gardaí as a chronic drug addict.

Emmett Coffey entered Kelliher’s Garage, wearing a hood and scarf to conceal his identity at 8.35pm.

He made off with over €1,000 (€1,102) after smashing the till with an axe, Tralee Circuit Criminal Court heard.

He was apprehended by gardaí shortly afterwards in Rathass Cemetery, where he had earlier taken tablets and was drinking in the company of others.

Initially, he tried to run but was apprehended by gardaí and when searched was found to be in possession of the cash.

The court heard the 42-year-old father of three had a serious history of abuse while a resident at an industrial school and his difficult personal challenges were compounded by a lack of social skills.

He has been on onerous bail conditions but has abided with them without any difficulty.

Judge Tom O’Donnell said the appropriate sentence was four years but that he was prepared to suspend the last 18 months of this.

He also varied the order of a District Court sentences on other matters, making all the sentences run concurrently.