Tuesday 27 September 2016

Serial burglar in court accompanied by five riot squad officers

Conor Gallagher

Published 11/01/2016 | 14:30

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A SERIAL burglar has had his prison term extended by four months for committing his 12th break-in.

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Eoghan McGarry appeared in court accompanied by five prison officers in full riot gear. Two officers stood with riot shields at arms length from the prisoner during the hearing while another officer held a video camera.

McGarry (30) is judged to be a high-risk inmate. He has amassed over 150 disciplinary reports while in prison and is alleged to have attacked several prison officers in Mountjoy before being moved to the high-security prison in Portlaoise.

He is currently serving a four year sentence imposed in September 2014 for an aggravated burglary during which he held a knife to a woman's throat after she discovered him in her house. An earlier burglary involved a woman waking up to find McGarry in her bedroom going through her clothes.

Today McGarry was sentenced for breaking into a national school and being in possession of stolen jewellery. It was the twelfth time he was sentenced for burglary. He has 24 convictions for other offences.

McGarry of Tymon Road, Tallaght, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary at St Killian's National School in Tallaght on September 1, 2014 and to possession of nine pieces of stolen jewellery at Tymon Park the next day.

The court heard that McGarry used a rock to smash a window and enter the Tallaght school where he stole €218 and bank documents. Several hours later a woman in Walkinstown arrived home to find a person in her house who fled with her jewellery.

Detective Garda Jason Weir told prosecuting counsel Pieter Le Vert BL that the next day he found McGarry asleep in a park. The garda performed a drugs search and found the jewellery in McGarry's jacket. He was later identified on the school's CCTV footage.

McGarry admitted breaking into the school and said he needed money “for a fix.” He claimed he bought the jewellery from someone for €100.

Luigi Rea BL, defending, asked Judge Melanie Greally not to extend McGarry's current prison term. The judge impose a four year sentence to date from today/yesterday (MON) meaning he will spend an extra four months in jail.

Mr Rea said McGarry “hasn't had the easiest life in prison for whatever reasons, and there would be two sides to that”. He said he suffered from drug addiction and mental health issues and that his problems arose when he didn't take his medication.

As part of the sentence, Judge Greally ordered McGarry to swear an oath to undergo two years probation supervision on his release and to take his medication and engage with mental health services.

Mr Rea said that a bond could only be entered if it was done so “freely and can be seen to be done so freely”. He said this could not be done as McGarry was “manacled” while in court. The prison officers agreed to temporarily remove the restraints while McGarry entered the bond.

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