Thursday 21 September 2017

Burglar’s getaway car ‘was too small for the equipment he stole’

Sonya McLean

A burglar who happened to break into a garage that was full of expensive scuba diving equipment didn’t have a getaway car that was big enough to transport the haul, a court heard.

Eivydas Kurila (25) and an unidentified accomplice parked the saloon car next to Thomas Brett’s home in Lucan before going into the garage and finding 86 items of scuba diving equipment worth almost €16,000.

Mr Brett was away on holidays at the time but the burglars were making so much noise hauling out the bulky equipment, that neighbours woke up, spotted them and alerted the gardaí.

Both men fled when officers arrived at the scene and while his accomplice escaped, Kurila was caught hiding in Mr Brett’s back garden.

Kurila of Allendale Glade, Clonsilla, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary on August 09, 2012. He has one previous conviction for possession of stolen articles.

Judge Martin Nolan said he didn’t believe the case warranted an immediate custodial sentence and adjourned sentencing to October. He ordered a probation service report for that date to see if Kurila is suitable for community service.

Garda Mark Clifford told Cathleen Noctor BL, prosecuting, that when gardaí arrived the car was stuffed with equipment and there were more items on the footpath. He agreed that the items were very bulky and included snorkels, wet suits, dry suits, tanks and other similar equipment with a total value of €15,900.

He agreed with Judge Nolan that Kurila’s getaway car was not big enough to take the entire haul.

Kurila was arrested after gardaí heard rustling in bushes in Mr Brett’s back garden. He was intoxicated and considered unfit for interview.

He was later interviewed four times during which he claimed the garage door was unlocked. He insisted that he had carried out the burglary on his own because he needed the money.

Kurila later admitted that a second man had been involved but refused to name him.

He admitted that a rucksack found at the scene was his. The bag contained pliers, a torch and bolt cutters. Kurila was also wearing a hat and gloves but he told gardaí this was because he was cold.

Gda Clifford agreed with Eoin Hardiman BL, defending, that the burglary did not appear to be pre-planned.

Mr Hardiman told Judge Nolan that his client, a father of a two-year-old boy, is originally from Lithuania and is studying English.

He asked Judge Nolan to accept that while Kurila was caught red-handed, he was fully co-operative with gardaí.

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