Hair brush bank robber sentenced to a year in jail

A Scotsman has been sentenced to 12 months jail for trying to hold up a Bundoran bank with a hairbrush during a St Patrick’s weekend binge.

Donegal Circuit Court was told that 48-year-old Anthony McNulty was visiting Bundoran with in-laws. After watching Celtic beat Rangers on a pub tv he awoke with a hangover and decided to rob the Bank of Ireland in the town’s Main Street last March 16th.

He took off his socks in the street, put them on his hands, pulled a hood over his head and entered the bank where he prodded the brush, concealed in a bag, into a customer’s back.

Then, the court heard, he swore the cashier to give him money or he would shoot the customer. But manager Tara Rogers shouted to him to get out of her bank and he fled.

Judge John O’Hagan heard that McNulty threw the brush in a bin and then went to a bookie’s to place a bet on a horse before visiting a pharmacy where he stole three packets of razor blades worth €77.

Gardai, who by then had a description of him from bank customers, arrested him in the street 20 minutes after the attempted hold-up. He readily admitted his offences and had been in custody ever since.

McNulty, of Abercorn, Paisley, Glasgow, pleaded guilty to attempting to rob the bank and to the theft of the razor blades.

The court heard he had convictions in Scotland and had served five years of a seven-year sentence for using a firearm during a robbery.

Defence counsel Fiona Pekaar said McNulty, who was an alcoholic, was on heavy medication for pain and depression when he was in Bundoran and gardai had to call a doctor when they arrested him.

Judge O’Hagan noted that neither the customer who was threatened nor the manager knew McNulty only had a hairbrush in the bag. He paid tribute to Ms Rogers for her bravery.

The judge added that McNulty was “caught red-handed” but had admitted his guilt from the very beginning, a factor which he was taking into account when back-dating the 12-months sentence to March 16.

Prison sources said that, allowing for remission for good behaviour, McNulty could be freed immediately.