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Friday 19 September 2014

Crystal meth burglar suspected of carjacking woman in Dublin 4

Published 27/04/2014 | 02:30

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The scene of the carjacking at Argyle House, Dublin. Inset: Liz Turley

A CRYSTAL METH addict responsible for a spate of burglaries in upmarket Dublin 4 is the chief suspect for the brutal assault on a woman who was seriously injured when her car was hijacked in Ballsbridge last week.

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Liz Turley, 59, was left in a serious condition in hospital after the assault at the gates of her apartment complex last Tuesday morning. She was knocked to the ground and suffered head injuries. She was unconscious when neighbours came to her help.

Her car was later found abandoned in the Kevin Street area of south inner Dublin. One of the main suspects is a 28-year-old man who is suspected of a series of burglaries in the Dublin 4 area over the past two years. He is known to travel in the company of his girlfriend, also a drug addict, on his raids.

Both are said to be addicted to methamphetamine – known as crystal meth, the drug that featured in the Breaking Bad US television series – which gardai say is becoming increasingly prevalent across the country, particularly in Dublin.

The drug is highly addictive and causes erratic and sometimes violent behaviour when overused. It has already been linked to one killing here which is before the courts.

Gardai believe the drug is being imported into Ireland by eastern Europe and African gangs. Cheaper than crack cocaine, meth has become popular with Irish addicts because of its intense "high".

The quality and purity of "traditional" addictive drugs being sold here has declined in recent years. Less heroin is reaching Ireland, say sources though there have been record crops of opium in Afghanistan, the main supplier of heroin.

The boom in opiate use in China and India has meant that less of the drug is reaching Western countries. Tests have shown that the average purity in heroin sold here is now 10 per cent or less.

Addicts are increasingly turning to drugs like crack and meth and inevitably turning to burglary and other crimes to pay for their habits. The upturn in burglaries throughout Ireland is associated with drug addiction.

The main suspect in the Ballsbridge car hi-jacking is described as violent and has a severe drug addiction. His girlfriend, in her mid-20s, is also seriously addicted. The man has multiple convictions for burglary, public disorder and other offences.

After stealing the car, the pair abandoned it in the south inner city and it is being examined by forensic officers for fingerprints and DNA.

Gardai believe the woman was targeted because the couple wanted to get to one of the drug-dealing locations in south inner Dublin in a hurry to buy more meth.

Gardai appealed for assistance from anyone who saw the grey 03 Ford Focus from when it was stolen in the Serpentine Road area and when it was abandoned in Kevin Street. The thieves made no attempt to disguise themselves, neighbours said. Gardai asked anyone with information to contact Irishtown Garda Station (01) 666 9600.

Sunday Independent

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