Man avoids  jail term after breaking into a man’s home and trying to steal his car

by Gazette Reporter
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By Jamil Bhaloo

A man who broke into a man’s home before attempting to steal his car has received a fully suspended sentence.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Anthony Donnellan (26), of Churchwell Rise, Belmayne, Dublin 13, pleaded guilty to the unlawful taking of a 2006 Toyota car and possession of stolen property at a home in Glentworth Park, Coolock, Dublin 13, on October 12, 2018.

Detective Garda Brian Healy told Aideen Collard BL, prosecuting, that the victim was downstairs in his home at 8:30 am when he noticed the front door was open and one of their sons was looking outside.

The victim went outside and saw his car rolling backwards down the driveway, initially believing it to be his other son who was inside it. The victim looked through one of the car windows and saw Donnellan – wearing a combat top – attempting to start the car.

The victim then opened the driver-side door and attempted to stop Donnellan, who was able to start the car but was removed from it by the victim and two neighbours who had witnessed the incident.

Det Gda Healy said Donnellan was subject to a citizen’s arrest before gardai were contacted, who soon arrived and arrested him, confiscating a steak knife he had stolen from the victim’s kitchen and hidden in his pocket.

Gardai searched the victim’s car and found a bag containing several items Donnellan had stolen from the victim’s home: two laptops, jewellery, several bottles of alcoholic spirits, medication and a Google Chromecast device.

Det Gda Healy said it couldn’t be determined how Donnellan had gained access to the victim’s home.

In a victim impact statement to the court, the injured party said the experience had left him deeply shaken and that he was more cautious about his surroundings now. He said he hoped that Donnellan would receive some form of rehabilitation for his actions.

Donnellan has eight previous convictions, including five for possession of knives.

Karl Monahan BL, defending, confirmed with Det Gda Healy that his client was heavily intoxicated at the time of the incident and was unfit for an interview with gardai, requiring three days of hospitalisation.

The defence said his client had written a letter of apology to the victim and expressed remorse for his actions.

The court heard Donnellan has had issues with drug addiction and is currently engaging with Merchant’s Quay Ireland through their residential treatment program.

The defence said his client’s personal life was greatly affected by an assault he suffered that left him permanently scarred and impacted his mental health, leaving him feeling paranoid and aggressive.

Judge Martin Nolan said Donnellan was taking positive steps toward treating his addiction but that he must continue to do so.

Judge Nolan fully suspended Donnellan’s sentence of two-and-a-half years on the condition that he engage with the probation services for one year and remain on his best behaviour for that period.

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