'Severe sentence required' for participant in attempted aggravated burglary of prominent businessman's home - judge dismisses sentence appeal
A participant in the attempted aggravated burglary of a prominent businessman's home, where armed gardaí were waiting, has had an appeal against the severity of his sentence dismissed.
Trevor O'Sullivan (40), of Curraheen Drive in Bishopstown, Cork had pleaded guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to attempted aggravated burglary at the home of Pat Glavin, Glanmire, in the county on August 11, 2013.
He was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment with the final three suspended by Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin on February 25, 2014.
Dismissing an appeal against sentence today, Mr Justice George Birmingham said O'Sullivan's sentence was severe but “a severe sentence was required” for the intended invasion of a family home by individuals with loaded firearms.
Giving background to the offence in the Court of Appeal, Mr Justice Birmingham said the attempted burglary took place at the home of a successful businessman who was prominent in the fast-food industry and who resided in his home with his partner and children.
Gardaí became aware of an intention to raid the home in advance, the judge said. On July 29, 2013, they observed O'Sullivan driving around the businessman's house “on a reconaissance operation”.
On August 11, having taken up positions around the house, armed gardaí observed three men arrive in a silver car and one took a firearm from the boot.
Armed gardaí moved in and arrested O'Sullivan at the scene as well as another person. A Remington pump action shotgun was recovered “with a live cartridge in the chamber and one in the breach”, the judge said.
O'Sullivan had previous convictions for public order offences, criminal damage and a section 15A offence for the sale or supply of drugs.
His barristers, Ciaran O'Loughlin SC and Ronan Munro BL, submitted that the alleged “ringleader” of the operation, according to gardaí, received a lesser sentence.
Mr Justice Birmingham said O'Sullivan was involved in organising the crime from the beginning as was indicated by his participation in reconnaisance operations.
It was “almost unnecessary” to say that this offence was of "the utmost seriousness", Mr Justice Birmingham said. It involved the intended invasion of the family home by individuals with loaded firearms.
Mr Justice Birmingham said the court accepted that the sentence was severe but “a severe sentence was required”.
O'Sullivan was caught “red-handed” and the court could not say that the credit afforded to his guilty plea was insufficient, the judge said.
Mr Justice Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice Paul Butler and Mr Justice Alan Mahon, said the court could not say that the sentence was so severe as to fall outside the range of available sentences. Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.