Burglar traced by DNA given 16-month sentence

by Gazette Reporter
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DNA swabs from blood spatters yielded a match to O'Brien

A burglar who was traced by DNA after cutting his hand gaining entry to a house has been given a 16-month sentence.

Martin O’Brien (36) stole items valued at over €15,000 from the home, but left blood spatters on the walls after cutting his hand when he smashed glass in the front door to gain entry.

O’Brien, who has 64 previous convictions, will serve this sentence consecutive to the four year term he is currently serving for robbery. He had been due for release next March.

O’Brien, of Cois Cualann, Loughlinstown, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary of the home in Foxrock on November 11, 2015.

Jewellery, electronic equipment, cash and cheques were among the items stolen. None of the property was recovered. €300 damage was caused to the front door.

Garda James Wall told Elva Duffy BL, prosecuting, that a young woman had been studying upstairs in her bedroom that afternoon when the door opened and she saw the burglar.

O’Brien saw her and left the house. Three upstairs bedrooms had been ransacked.

Gardai took DNA swabs from blood spatters found in the house, which yielded a match to O’Brien.

O’Brien made full admissions and said he had been on heroin and tablets at the time.

Sandra Frayne BL, defending, said her client, a father-of-six, had a tragic upbringing with a number of bereavements and lost everything in a fire at his home in 2015. She said he was sorry for what he had done and anxious to put things right.

She said he had started using drugs as an 18-year-old when he was hanging around with the wrong people, but now wants to wean himself off methadone and live a drug-free existence.

Last Friday, Judge Martin Nolan noted O’Brien had fully co-operated, made admissions and entered a very early guilty plea. He took into account he had an unfortunate family background as well as a serious record of offending. He said O’Brien was doing his best to deal with his drug addiction.

Judge Nolan imposed a 16 month sentence consecutive to his current sentence.

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