A Judge is describing as an 'unusual step', a letter sent by staff in a Newbridge hair salon, asking for leniency towards the man accused of robbing them, using an imitation fire-arm.
The 34-year-old Naas man, appeared before Naas District Court, yesterday, charged with possessing an imitation firearm at Strands, Limerick Lane, Newbridge, on August 1, 2015, and carrying out a robbery at the same location on the same date.
It is understood that the staff at Strands Hair Salon asked for leniency, and knew the accused's late mother in a professional and personal capacity.
Evidence was given that the accused is nolonger taking drugs after getting an implant inserted at a cost of approximately €4,500.
In court, he said: "It counteracts the effects. It stops me from mentally torturing myself, it gives me security that I won't take the drugs."
Defence Solicitor, Conal Boyce, outlined how the accused now has the intention of using his experiences to assist people to stay away from drugs.
The accused's father, who spoke in court, outlined how he has seen improvements and how his wife's passing last year, spurred him into deciding to get his only child to have an implant inserted.
Judge Desmond Zaidan said: "Usually with a offence like this, a robbery at a salon, an imitation firearm being used, there is a distinct probability of a custodial sentence. This case is somewhat unique.The salon has shown great spirit by writing to the court, in a letter signed by the owner and staff members, asking for leniency. Most of the people knew his mother in a professional and personal capacity, they asked the court to give this man a chance."
Addressing the accused, Judge Zaidan said: "You won't get a second chance from me, you may get it from the victims and your family, but I am not giving you a second chance, I have a duty to society as a whole."
Judge Zaidan ordered that the accused carry out 240 hours community service, in lieu of one year in prison.
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