Dublin man jailed for house break in

by Gazette Reporter
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By Claire Henry

A Dublin man who broke into a home and was interrupted by an occupant has been sentenced to eight months in prison.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that David Cooney (44) of St Anthony’s Road, Rialto, Dublin 8, pleaded guilty to trespassing with the intent to commit theft at a house on the South Circular Road on April 6, 2022. He has 95 previous convictions.

Passing sentence Judge Martin Nolan said: “It must have been a very frightening for the individuals involved.”

Judge Nolan said the accused has had a difficult past with addictions and mental health issues and “is a bit of a menace to society”.

The judge said, “the law has set out that the maximum sentence I can give the accused is one year”.

Judge Nolan sentenced him to eight months in prison.

Garda Fergal Burke told Fionnuala O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, that he was on mobile patrol with a colleague at 9.15 pm on the day in question when they saw the accused man with a large shopping bag in the Lotts Lane area of Dublin. When the accused saw the gardai, he hid behind a car and dropped the shopping bag.

Gda Burke said they approached Cooney and asked him what was in the bag, he said it wasn’t his. Gardai searched the bag and found a Samsung tablet, bottles of perfume and jewellery. They arrested Cooney, and on examination of the Samsung tablet, they found the owner.

The court heard that the tablet’s owner confirmed that her home had been broken into earlier that day, and the missing items matched the items in Cooney’s shopping bag. Gardai interviewed the woman’s daughter, who had returned home to find their two dogs in the back garden and not in the house.

The kitchen presses had been opened, as were the drawers and presses in her room. The woman heard footsteps from upstairs, and a man wearing yellow trousers, a blue face mask and carrying a shopping bag appeared. The man then fled the house. Another daughter was also present but unaware that Cooney was in the house.

Gda Burke told the court that Cooney was wearing clothes matching the description given by the woman when arrested.

Two victim impact statements were handed into the court but not read aloud.

Gda Burke agreed with Derek Cooney, BL, defending, that gardai came across his client “by a stroke of luck”.

Mr Cooney said his client has a lengthy record of similar nature, and this was to fuel a drug addiction.

Counsel said there is a history of mental health issues in his client’s family and that his client has spent some time in the Central Mental Hospital.

He said his client is currently working with people in Mountjoy Prison to try and deal with his addictions.

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