13 Aug 2022

Jail for man who robbed his local McDonald's while wearing a wig and sunglasses


A robber who donned a wig and sunglasses while robbing his local McDonald's has been jailed for five-and-a-half years.

After his arrest Anthony Sweeney (37) of St Marks Crescent, Clondalkin, Dublin told gardaí he was trying to feed his drug habit.

Sweeney pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery of McDonald's, Liffey Valley, Clondalkin on August 5 last (2019). He also admitting robbery at the same restaurant a month later. He has 35 previous convictions, including convictions for robbery and carrying a firearm with criminal intent.

The court heard that Sweeney had been attending school while in custody but the school had been closed due to coronavirus.

Passing sentence today, Tuesday, April 21, Judge Melanie Greally said the offences were aggravated by the use of a knife, the fact that during one of the offences the knife was placed to one of the victim's throats and the last offence being committed while Sweeney was on bail.

Judge Greally said she took into consideration his pleas of guilty, his admissions to gardaí, his history of drug addiction, his efforts to address his addiction and the role he has played in caring for his father.

She sentenced Sweeney to seven-and-a-half years imprisonment, but suspended the final two years of the sentence on strict conditions including that he follow all directions of the Probation Service for six months prior to his release and 12 months post release.

Detective Garda Kevin O'Connor told Kieran Kelly BL, prosecuting, that Sweeney, wearing a wig and sunglasses, robbed a staff member after approaching the counter at McDonald's, Liffey Valley. 

He was chased by gardaí as he cycled away and the wig, glasses and €450 cash were recovered.

Det Gda O'Connor agreed with Sweeney's lawyer that his disguises were of little assistance to him and he was easily identifiable.

The following month Sweeney threatened a staff member at the same branch of McDonald's with an iron bar. The manager attempted to stop Sweeney leaving but Sweeney pushed him out of the way.

He was identified on CCTV and arrested.

Sweeney also pleaded guilty to robbery of a nail salon on Collinstown Road and of a pedestrian on the Liffey Valley footbridge on May 27, 2019. He was armed with a blade when he demanded money from staff in the salon.

Later that day a man crossing the footbridge at Liffey Valley was robbed by a number of persons, one of whom had a knife which was put to the victim's neck.

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