A WOULD-BE burglar who ordered a taxi to take away stolen goods has been given a four year sentence for this and other offences within a six week period.
Joseph French (21) had asked for a “van type” taxi but his plans were foiled by an off duty garda who spotted him moving suspiciously between houses.
French, of Neilstown Park, Clondalkin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary, possession of stolen property and possession of items with the intention that they be used in a burglary in Palmerstown Woods, Clondalkin on April 14, 2012.
He also pleaded guilty to attempted robbery at Mace, Manor Road, Palmerstown on February 28, 2012 and robbery at Nangor Road on April 10, 2012. He has 76 previous convictions.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring had adjourned sentencing after hearing evidence last month until July to allow French attend a residential drug rehabilitation course following clean drug tests.
The case was re-entered earlier this week after French left the course. He attended at court and was remanded in custody.
Judge Ring today imposed consecutive sentences totaling four years and suspended the final two years on strict conditions including attending for drug counseling and 12 months probation supervision.
Garda Emer McDermott told Noel Devitt BL, prosecuting, that gardai received a call at 11.30am on April 14, 2012 from an off duty colleague reporting a suspicious person going between houses.
Gardai discovered a house in the area had been ransacked and contacted the homeowner. When she returned home she saw two tv’s, technical equipment and other items from her home had been left in a neighbour’s garden
Four mobile phones were also missing from another house in the area.
Gda McDermott noticed a male, French, sitting nearby on a kerb and he was identified as the person who had been acting suspiciously earlier.
French told gardai he did not have the energy to run away and was “off his head”. He said he had been planning to sell the items he had taken to pay bills and had ordered a “van type” taxi to take away them in. He said he was sorry for what he had done.
The court also heard evidence of French’s role in the attempted robbery of a Mace store and of his robbery of a handbag from a woman walking along a canal towpath.
Luigi Rea BL, defending, said French had got off to a good start in life and worked as an apprentice plasterer but after the tragic death of his father in 2007 he foolishly allowed himself to be exposed to drug addiction.
He said his client’s partner was expecting their first child and this had a “sobering” effect on him.
Mr Rea said at the original sentence hearing at the end of last month that French had made the adult decision to seek out help and asked that sentencing be put back to allow French attend a residential rehabilitation course at Tiglin.