Courts get tough on predatory and violent rural burglars as jail terms hiked
Four raiders see their prison time significantly increased
THE Court of Appeal has laid down stringent guidelines on sentencing burglars in the wake of a series of high-profile cases, often involving threats or violence against the homeowner.
The move came on a day when four notorious burglars saw their sentences significantly increased by the court.
Two men had their jail terms almost doubled, after the court decided their original sentences were too lenient, following a “fatal burglary” where a 62-year-old collapsed and died.
Cousins Michael Casey (34), of Clonlong Halting Site, Southill, Co Limerick, and David Casey (23), of Carragh Park, Belcamp, Dublin 17, had pleaded guilty to a series of burglaries, including one at the home of John O’Donoghue, at Toomaline, Doon, Co Limerick, on August 27, 2015.
Mr O’Donoghue, who had heart problems, collapsed and died as he was about to confront the intruders. They ran away without offering help.
Judge Tom O’Donnell sentenced both men at Limerick Circuit Criminal Court to four-and-a-half years’ imprisonment with the final year suspended on December 15, 2016.
The Court of Appeal found the men’s sentences to be “unduly lenient” and they were both re-sentenced yesterday to seven years with the final eight months suspended.
Counsel for the DPP, Thomas O’Malley BL, said the Caseys had gone on a burglary “spree”.