Jailed for robbing chip shop armed with hammer

A man who robbed a chip shop armed with a hammer has been jailed for four years.

Thomas John Martin Magill, whose address was given on court papers as c/o Maghaberry, pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of an offensive weapon on March 3, last year.

Derry Crown Court heard that the 41-year-old went into the Golden Fryer chip shop on Spencer Road after 11pm. He had a scarf over his face and was wearing a “distinctive” baseball cap. There were three women working in the shop and he told them to give him the money.

The court heard that they intially thought he was joking but then he jumped over the counter and they saw he had a hammer.

He was challenged about why he needed the money by one of the women and he replied “drugs”.

Magill forced open the till and took £15 in notes and some coins before leaving the shop.

It was revealed that Magill, who has over 230 previous convictions, was identified by police and during a search of his home they discovered a hammer in the living room and the baseball cap in his attic.

Magill was arrested and during interview said he had read about the robbery in the “Derry Journal” but denied he was the culprit. He told police that whoever did rob the chip shop was a “lousy b******”.

The court heard that the 41-year-old has been assessed by probation as posing a risk of harm to the public.

Defence counsel Eoghan Devlin said it was “an act of gross folly for anyone to engage in this type of incident, given the type of sentences it attracts, for little or no money”.The defendant accepted he would receive a “lengthy custodial sentence”.

Jailing Magill for four years, Judge Phillip Babington imposed an extended licence period of three years to protect members of the public.