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Friday 29 August 2014

Man (23) who caused over €13k damage to home while stealing copper water cylinder given three-year suspended sentence

Aoife Nic Ardghail

Published 03/06/2014 | 15:39

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Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

A young Dublin man who caused over €13,000 in damage to a home while stealing a copper water cylinder has received a three year suspended sentence.

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Gardaí found Dean Byrne (23) asleep in a neighbouring house a short time later after they spotted the cylinder in the garden. An elderly resident had taken pity on Byrne and let him sleep upstairs.

Garda Aidan O’Shaughnessy said he discovered wet clothes on the floor, blood near the light switch and Byrne, who was on drugs, asleep in the bed.

Byrne, of Old Blessington Road, Tallaght, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to trespass and theft at Slievemore Road, Drimnagh on June 13, 2013. 

He also pleaded guilty to criminal damage of €13, 299 to the property on the same date. He has 11 previous convictions mostly for minor road traffic offences.

Gda O’Shaughnessy told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that the builder renovating the house told the owner of the break in. The front door had been smashed and there was water damage to the walls and ceilings.

The garda said he spotted the water cylinder in a garden two doors up along with a set of bolt cutters.

Byrne said in interview that he had been looking for money for drugs and decided to steal copper from the house as he knew it would be empty.

Gda O’Shaughnessy agreed with Olan Callanan BL, defending, that his client had been heavily under the influence of sleeping tablets at the time and had cut himself breaking in to the house.

He further agreed Byrne had dropped a letter of apology through the home’s letter box after the incident.

Mr Callanan submitted to Judge Catherine Murphy that an insurance company had covered the cost of the damage.

He said his client had come from a decent family and was trying to get drug free. He asked the judge to take into consideration Byrne’s early plea and genuine remorse.

Judge Murphy suspended the sentence for three years and ordered that Byrne undergo Probation Service supervision for 18 months. She told Byrne she had given him a “very substantial chance” due to his youth and full admissions at an early stage.

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