Man waited for gardaí after attempted shop robbery because he wanted to go to jail

Man Waited For Gardaí After Attempted Shop Robbery Because He Wanted To Go To Jail
Dean Boland (33) pleaded guilty to attempted robbery at a Centra shop in Santry, Co Dublin, on November 7th last year. Photo: PA Images
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Peter Murtagh

A man waited for gardaí at a convenience shop to arrest him after a failed attempt to rob staff at the shop because he wanted to go to jail.

Dean Boland (33) of Colthurst Crescent, Huntington Glen, Lucan, Co Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to attempted robbery at a Centra shop in Santry, Co Dublin, on November 7th, 2021.


The court on Tuesday heard that when gardaí asked him why he had done it, he replied: "So I could go into custody".

Detective Garda John Mackin said he witnessed Boland signing on at Santry Garda station. A little later, gardaí, including him, responded to an alert that a robbery was taking place at the nearby Centra shop.

Two men had entered the shop, said garda Mackin, and gone behind the counter to the till where two staff were working. One of the men, Boland, roared "give me all your cash" in a loud and aggressive voice.

However, the staff did not hand over the cash and a nearby supervisor with a sweeping brush - "the only person armed", according to Judge Orla Crowe - told them to get out.


The raiders returned to the public side of the counter where Boland removed his Covid mask and helped himself to a bottle of Lucozade, the money for which he put on the counter, before waiting for the gardaí to arrive.

When they did, they asked Boland why he had committed the attempted robbery, and he replied: "So I could go into custody", adding that he was in fear for his life.

Garda Mackin said Boland had been a chronic drug user since his teen years and was "acting paranoid" when he came into the Garda station. He took "all manner of drugs, mainly tablets, anything he can get on the streets", said the garda.

"He was at a very low ebb in terms of his addiction and isolation," said the detective. Boland has 30 previous convictions.


Judge Crowe said the situation was "somewhat bizarre". She said the accused had "very helpfully" taken off his mask in front of CCTV cameras during the course of the attempted robbery. He had not threatened staff but the event was "undoubtedly very frightening" for them.

Sentencing Boland to 18 months imprisonment, backdated to his going into custody in November 2021, she remarked: "There are other ways of seeking medical help, such as going to your doctor".

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