Jail for man who “destroyed” single mother’s home on Christmas Day

by Padraig Conlon

A heroin addict who “destroyed” a single mother’s home on Christmas Day, covering it in urine and rendering her family temporarily homeless, has been jailed for three and a half years.

Robert Hedderman (35) caused “many thousands of euro” in damage to the home in Kinsealy, Dublin when he broke in and trashed it in 2016, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard yesterday.

He ripped furniture, placed an Xbox and a dvd player in a sink filled with water, urinated throughout the home and scattered ash everywhere, the court heard.

Jailing the man for three and a half years, Judge Martin Nolan said his actions on the day were “gratuitous”.

“There was no earthly reason for this man to cause this damage. He destroyed the house,” he said.

Hedderman also caused the injured party considerable difficulties after she was left homeless for a month, the judge added.

Hedderman of Kilmartin Drive, Tallaght, Dublin pleaded guilty to one count of burglary at Melrose Park, Kinsealy on December 25, 2016. He also pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis and possession of cannabis for sale or supply at the same location.

The woman, who was renting the house with her children, left her home on Christmas Eve in a “neat and tidy” condition, the court heard.

Sergeant Alan Flaherty told Garda Elva Duffy BL, prosecuting, told the court when he was called out to the home on Christmas Day, he initially thought it was a derelict building. Concerned neighbours had reporting hearing banging throughout Christmas Eve night and noticed damage to the building the following morning, the court heard.

“I thought it had been rampaged over for a period of a couple of months because of the vast amount of damage,” Sgt Flaherty said.

Hedderman was discovered asleep on an overturned bed, holding a scissors in one hand and a pink camera in the other. Cannabis worth €1700 was also discovered in the home.

The landlord had to board up the house and the tenant was unable to return to the home until January 24, 2017. She and her children lost a considerable number of items which were taken or damaged in the burglary, including personal belongings, clothes, jewellery, dvds, computer games, TVs, iPads and other electronic items.

Hedderman has 47 previous convictions, including several burglaries, theft and knife possession.

Emer Ni Chuagain BL, defending, said her client was intoxicated on drugs on Christmas Eve, was kicked out of his then girlfriend’s house and was “looking for a place to stay” when he broke into the house.

He has been homeless since the age of 19, has spent much of his adult life in custody and is a heroin addict, the court heard. Ms Ni Chuagain said her client was making progress in custody.

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