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Friday 19 September 2014

Burglar fell asleep after breaking into golf club, court told

Jessica Magee

Published 12/03/2014 | 17:44

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A man is awaiting sentence after he stole a car and broke into a Dublin golf club where he was found fast asleep in a drug-induced stupor.

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The stolen car, an Audi A4, was found impaled on security bollards outside the club with the engine still running.

Wayne Keogh (33) admitted burglary and the unlawful use of a car at the Slade Valley Golf Club in Saggart on December 20, 2012.

Judge Carmel Stewart remanded him in custody for sentencing on March 31.

The father-of-one was on bail at the time for a series of burglaries and attempted house break-ins carried out in Dundrum a few months earlier on October 22, 2012.

He pleaded guilty to all the offences, telling gardaí they were “an act of desperation” committed in the throes of his addiction to heroin and crack cocaine.

Keogh of Russell View in Tallaght, was described in court as “a deep thinker and a highly intelligent man” who has not been not been given adequate services or support in life.

Defence counsel Sarah Jane O'Callaghan BL told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that her client is a “very good person” when not on drugs.

She said Keogh was sentenced to two years in prison at the age of 13, where he began dabbling in drugs.

“From the moment he started getting into prison, the answer seems to have been to put him away and lock him up. It hasn't worked,” said Ms O'Callaghan.

The court heard that when not in prison, Keogh has been heavily involved in working for the Irish Cancer Society.

After working for the charity in a voluntary capacity, they hired him and described him in a letter to court as a “model employee”.

Keogh has 44 previous convictions, including 20 for theft, nine for road traffic offences, three for drugs offences and one for assault.

Garda Diarmaid Lawlor told John Byrne BL, prosecuting, that management at Slade Valley Golf Club were alerted to a break-in when an alarm went off on December 20, 2012.

Manager Dermot Clancy arrived at the club at 8:30am to see an Audi A4 impaled on steel security bollards at the entrance, with the engine still running.

He also saw that the windows on the side door of the club house were smashed and that extensive damage had been done throughout the building.

He waited for other club members and gardaí to arrive and they entered together to find a man fast asleep on the floor behind the counter of the golf shop.

He had a black pair of underwear around his neck and a pair of socks in his hand.

Gardaí said they couldn't wake the man who appeared to be in a very deep, drug-induced stupor.

He had caused about €10,000 worth of damage to the building, while the stolen car was written off.

Keogh was arrested but kept falling asleep while he was being questioned.

He told gardaí he couldn't open his eyes and that he hadn't slept for three days.

He admitted driving the Audi A4, stolen from Blessington Main Street earlier that day, up to the Slade Valley Golf Club.

Keogh was on bail at the time for a series of burglaries and attempted break-ins in the Dundrum area on October 22, 2012.

Residents at various addresses in Taney Avenue, Taney Crescent and Goatstown Avenue described disturbing an intruder before or just after he had broken into their house through a back window or door.

At one house on Goatstown Avenue, he took €500 worth of jewellery and ripped an alarm from the wall before jumping to his escape from an upstairs window.

Gardaí caught up with Keogh at the scene of an attempted burglary at Taney Crescent.

He was dishevelled and shivering, wearing no shoes or socks, and his right foot was extremely swollen.

It emerged that he had severely strained his ankle while jumping from a window.

Keogh was arrested and told gardaí he wanted to steal “anything, money, valuables” to buy crack cocaine.

He apologised for the stress he had caused to his victims and said it was “an act of desperation”.

Ms O'Callaghan said Keogh had undergone major upheavals in his life, including the cot death of his baby brother.

His grandmother told him at the age of 12 that his father was not his biological father, which had a massive effect on him.

His biological father eventually made contact with him late last year at the age of 33, but unfortunately has since ended all communication with his son.

At one time Keogh secured an education grant and a place on a two-year college course, only to be told mistakenly that he couldn't access the grant as he had already completed a FETAC qualification in prison.

Keogh is on a waiting list for drug rehabilitation treatment at Coolmine, which is expected to come through in about four months.

A report by psychological forensic services described Keogh as a vulnerable man with chronic low self-esteem who suffers from more depression and anxiety than most.

He has attempted to take his own life twice.

Ms O'Callaghan said Keogh is beset with guilt and shame about his victims and is determined to prove to his son that he can change his life.

Judge Stewart said that Keogh has certainly demonstrated an awareness of his victims and the seriousness of his offences.

However she noted that just months after committing the crimes in Dundrum he had gone on “another spree” to the golf club where he was found in a stupor amidst the debris he had brought about.                        

Irish Independent

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