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Long jail term for bungling robber; Man locked up until he's seen as safe.

Byline: Lisa Jones

HEARD the one about the confused armed robber fresh off the Irish ferry who demanded Euros at gunpoint in a Cardiff shop? Bungling robber Jerry Foley was yesterday jailed for an indeterminate period for his terrifying raid at the Splott Co-op. The 35-year-old, of Taymuir Road, Tremorfa, must serve at least four years in custody before being considered for parole, after pleading guilty to robbery. He will only be set free when a parole board believes he is no longer a risk to the public.

As reported in yesterday's Echo, Cardiff Crown Court heard a drunk Foley drew up outside the Splott Road shop in a taxi just hours after arriving on the Cork to Swansea ferry.

Inside, he brandished an imitation handgun and demanded "give me Euros", terrifying the shop assistant to such an extent that he burst into tears.

When the terrified assistant said "we haven't got any", former heroin addict Foley instead told him, "give me twenties". He escaped in the cab with pounds 180.

The court heard the married father had a string of previous convictions here and in the Republic of Ireland.

After the sentence, Detective Sergeant Esyr Jones, of Roath CID, said Foley, who had been arrested in Swansea two days after the robbery, was a "nasty" individual whose actions had a lasting effect on his shop assistant victim. He said: "It's not every day someone comes into your workplace with a gun and starts threatening you. It was a nasty offence.

"Firearms offences are relatively rare. Foley's sentence sends out a positive message to the community that offences of this kind won't be tolerated by the police or the courts.

"The community of Splott has been tremendously supportive in helping to convict this individual."

The court was told Foley had been left devastated by a series of personal tragedies, starting with the sudden death of his 24-year-old brother last November.

While he was on remand, Foley's teenage son was killed in a road accident, and Foley's father died just a month ago.

Foley was given an indeterminate sentence for public protection.

Those sentenced to an indeterminate sentence of Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) have no automatic right to be released. Instead, they must serve a minimum period of imprisonment.

It is also known as the tariff period.

Judge Stephen Hopkins QC, also ordered him to serve a two-year consecutive sentence after he admitted possessing an imitation firearm.

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Jerry Foley used an imitation gun to threaten a shop worker
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 12, 2010
Words:420
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