Trocaire box thieves who stole hundreds remanded in custody

by Gazette Reporter

Two men who broke into a primary school and stole hundreds of euro from Trocaire boxes have been remanded in custody.

Martin Lumsden (35) of The Square, Larchhill, Santry, Dublin, and John Finn (32) of Cromcastle Close, Kilmore, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to trespass and theft at Gaelscoil Cholmcille, Oscar Traynor Road, Dublin, on April 18, 2018.

Lumsden also pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of a firearm at Mace, All Saints Park, Raheny, Dublin, on May 7, 2018.

Judge Melanie Greally remarked that Lumsden’s life has been “a never ending cycle of offending and addiction and homelessness”. She said his “life story so far has been very bleak” but that people in his position have gone on to do great things.

She remanded him in custody on condition that he be transferred directly to Coolmine Therapeutic Community and that he remain in residence there until the completion of a treatment programme.

Judge Greally said she proposed to sentence Finn to two year’s imprisonment with the final 12 months suspended, but that she wanted confirmation he is drug free before finalising the sentence. She ordered urine analysis and remanded him in custody to June 6, next.

She said the burglary was aggravated by it taking place at a school, by charity money being stolen and by the damage done in commission of the offence. She said the mitigating factors were Finn’s guilty plea, his being under threat at the time and his using his time in custody well.

At a previous hearing, Garda Finbarr Fleming told Siobhán Ní Chúlacháin BL, prosecuting, that he was observing traffic outside Gaelscoil Cholmcille in the early hours of the morning when he saw two men throw a heavy bag over the school’s railings before climbing over themselves.

Lumsden and Finn were arrested and a large amount of coins were discovered in the bag. Gda Fleming went into the school with the principal, discovering that a side window had been smashed and the principal’s office had been rummaged through.

Trócaire boxes were found ripped open and almost entirely empty of coins. The total amount stolen was €880.78, all of which was recovered.

Garda Andrew Fox told Ms Ní Chúlacháin that Lumsden was on bail for stealing from the charity boxes when he entered a Mace shop at All Saints Park with a gun on his waist.

Lumsden stole approximately €500 from two tills in the shop, none of which has been recovered. The firearm has also not been recovered.

Lumsden has 110 previous convictions, including for offences of hijacking, false imprisonment, robbery and burglary. He has a previous conviction for stealing from the same Mace Shop at All Saints Park while armed with a knife.

Finn has 17 previous convictions, including for offences of burglary, theft, criminal damage and misuse of drugs.

Cathal McGreal BL, defending Lumsden, said his client had been diagnosed with ‘institutional neurosis’ due to his long history of imprisonment and submitted that he was someone who could not cope outside of prison.

John Moher BL, defending Finn, said his client was under threat from another party at the time of the burglary. Gda Fleming said he was aware that Finn had been stabbed a week or two prior to the offence.

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