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Six-month sentences for "Dim and Dimmer" 17.04.12

TWO thieves dubbed "Dim and Dimmer" were given six month sentences today for a drug-fuelled raid on an Inishowen petrol station.
Steven Smith (22) of Bradley Park in Derry and Mark Villa (18) from Marianus Park, Derry, appeared at Carndonagh District Court where they admitted robbing a petrol station in the border village of Muff last Saturday.
The court heard the defendants “were high” on Diazapam or "blues" when they robbed Donaghey's forecourt kiosk shortly before 7pm. Smith brandished a pen knife while Villa wielded a heavy chain grabbed from the counter. Both were unmasked.
Two male attendants aged 16 and 21 were "threatened with extreme violence" and forced to hand over €320 and £350stg, the court heard.
The defendants ordered them to hand over their mobile phones but after appeals to keep them, the raiders agreed. This allowed the victims to immediately call gardaí after the men escaped in a car parked outside.
A chase over three town lands ensued with gardaí assisted by a number of locals. An hour-long chase continued into fields and across a river after the car crashed.
The court heard that the driver of the vehicle and his front seat passenger knew nothing about the defendants' intentions to rob the premises. They were subsequently released without charge.
Defence solicitor Ciaran MacLochlainn told the court that his clients' escapade "wasn't the brightest". "You've heard of Dumb and Dumber, here you have Dim and Dimmer," said Mr MacLochlainn. He said the defendants, both single and unemployed, were “extremely remorseful” for the incident.
In a victim impact statement, proprietor David Donaghey said his attendants were "still traumatised and fearful". The court heard that while the euro sum had been recovered the Sterling sum was "probably lying in a field". Garda Eddie Doherty said both men had previous convictions in Derry for burglary and assault. Villa was currently under curfew while Smith was wearing an electronic tag.
Judge Paul Kelly said it was “an appalling crime”. He imposed six months' jail on Smith and six months' detention on Villa. Recognisance in the event of an appeal was set.
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