Derry teen handed himself into police after robbing shop

Bishop street Courthouse
Bishop street Courthouse

A teenager who handed himself into police after robbing a shop has received a suspended sentence.

Shane Kavanagh, of Chamberlain Street, pleaded guilty to the robbery of £150 from the Day Today shop in Sevenoaks.

He also admitted possessing a knife on January 7.

Derry Crown Court heard that police may not have been able to solve this crime if the 19-year-old had not admitted responsibility.

The court was told Kavanagh went into the shop as the shop assistant was counting cash in the till.

He waved a three or four inch knife at her and shouted ‘give me the money’. The teen then reached over the counter and lifted notes out of the till.

It was revealed the shop assistant was left ‘badly shaken’ by the robbery.

Police seized the knife close to the scene and a DNA sample was retrieved. However, the court was told this did not provide police with evidential assistance.

On January 26, Kavanagh went to the police station and said he was the person responsible for the robbery.

He claimed he had been out for a walk, found the knife and decided on the ‘spur of the moment’ to rob the shop.

The teen was ‘upset and emotional’ throughout the police interview and said he wanted to speak to the shop assistant to apologise.

The court heard that Kavanagh did well at school but he began to mix with the wrong crowd and started taking drugs.

However, he no longer takes drugs, trains with a local boxing club and coaches an under-15 football club.

Passing sentence, Judge Phillip Babington said courts must protect small businesses and those who work in them.

He said he had carefully considered the sentence and ‘not without some hesitation’ had come to the conclusion this was an exceptional case.

The judge said he believed it was exceptional because Kavanagh had voluntarily admitted the offence.

However, Judge Babington told the court this ‘doesn’t take away from the seriousness of this offence and the fear it must have engendered in the shop assistant on this night’.

The judge suspended a three year jail sentence for three years.