Trespasser claimed he was looking for lost dog
An intruder caught interfering with copper piping at a railway yard claimed he was searching for his niece's lost dog at the time.
Thomas Barrett (47) was given a two-month suspended sentence for trespassing after Dublin District Court heard he cycled in a staff gate as employees were leaving.
Barrett, of Decies Road, Ballyfermot, pleaded guilty to trespassing at the CIE works, Inchicore on March 13 last.
Garda Enda Kenny told Dublin District Court the accused entered the premises through security gates at 5.10pm.
He was subsequently seen on CCTV interfering with copper piping in the yard, moving it from one area to another, and the gardai were called.
He had not taken anything or caused any damage but he had no permission to be there and was arrested. Barrett told gardai he was "passing through."
"His explanation is that his niece who lives in the vicinity lost her dog and he was cycling around the area looking for it," the defendant's lawyer said.
"He approached the gate of the premises and was essentially let in. Staff members were exiting and they held the gate open for him."
Judge Ann Watkin remarked that the staff who let him in did not know who he was, so he entered "in a furtive sort of way."
Barrett's solicitor said the entry was "entirely opportunistic."
"He didn't sneak in with the express intention of trespassing, he was looking around for a dog," he added.
The accused's only previous convictions were for driving offences. He was unemployed "since he grew up" and had never had a job.
Judge Watkin asked him why not.
"I just didn't bother going out to work," Barrett replied.
His lawyer said the accused had come before the court to deal with the case in a "forthright manner."
The judge suspended the sentence for six months.