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  • Northside West

Today in court

Wednesday, 26th February, 2020 3:18pm
Today in court
Today in court

By Sonya McLean

A burglar who was still hiding in the attic of a pub when gardaí searched the premises after being alerted to the break-in has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Brian O'Connor (25) had climbed in through the roof of McGrath's Pub in Drumcondra and gained access into the building by kicking through the ceiling boards.

Gardaí were alerted to the break-in after a carpenter who had been carrying out work there arrived early that morning, opened the shutters and saw O'Connor looking out at him through the window.

Garda Chloe Hurst told Derek Cooney BL, prosecuting, that there was no other exit from the pub, apart from a locked side door.

Gardaí searched the attic space after noting that a table had been stacked onto chairs directly under a large hole in the ceiling. O'Connor was ultimately found there lying flat on his back.

He was arrested but was too drunk to be interviewed initially. He made no admissions when later questioned.

O'Connor, of Whitworth Place, Drumcondra, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary at McGrath's Pub on February 28, 2019. He has 103 previous convictions.

Gda Hurst agreed with Pieter Le Vert BL, defending, that although his client was “clearly in a state of intoxication”, he did not cause any trouble for arresting gardaí.

Mr Le Vert said his client had a both a chaotic and challenging childhood which resulted in him attempting suicide as a young teenager.

Judge Melanie Greally noted that O'Connor had gained access by causing substantial damage to the roof and ceiling of the building. She accepted it had been his intention to steal alcohol and cash.

She sentenced O'Connor to three years in prison but suspended the final nine months on strict conditions.

***

By Declan Brennan

A man who was a teenager when he was caught holding bullets in his bedside locker has been jailed for two years.

When gardaí found the ammunition in the bedroom of Shane Fay, the then 18-year-old told them: "I haven't seen them before in my life, they weren't in the house this morning when I was cleaning my room."

Fay, of Belclare Park, Ballymun, later admitted he had stored the bullets after being asked to do so. He told gardaí that he had a cocaine dependency.

Fay, now aged 20, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to unlawful possession of 15 rounds of 9mm ammunition on October 3, 2018.

David Fleming BL, defending, told the court that while in custody awaiting sentence, Fay was the victim of a vicious unprovoked attack during which he was stabbed 10 times in the back.

He said that he suffered savage wounds and his lungs filled with blood and had to be inflated. The attackers also cut through his fingers when Fay tried to defend himself, severing his tendons.

Counsel said his client was a carer for his parents, who were both wheelchair bound. His father lost his legs due to alcohol abuse and his mother had an extreme reaction to a mosquito bite while on a State-funded respite holiday.

Judge Melanie Greally suspended the final year of a three year prison term. She said she was giving Fay credit for an early plea of guilty, his extreme youth at the time and the hardship in his own background.

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