Saturday 7 December 2019

Burglar caught by gardai after he was chased by victim with garden hose, court told

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Declan Brennan

A burglar was caught after he ran in front of a garda patrol car while being chased by the victim of the burglary with a garden hose.

Mark Kelly (36) continued to run with the homeowner and garda car behind him. Garda Sarah McArdle told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that she arrested Kelly after he ran down a cul-de-sac and tried unsuccessfully to climb across a wall.

In his victim impact report the homeowner David Wheefer asked the court to consider ordering the recovering heroin addict to take part in drug treatment services instead of jailing him.

Kelly, of Brian Boru Street, Clontarf, Dublin, pleaded guilty to burglary at Kincora Road, Clontarf on February 23, 2012.

He also admitted taking part in a robbery of an iPhone and wallet on Harcourt Street on July 23, 2012. He put his arms around a "very drunk" man and escorted him up the street before later helping two others to pull him to the ground and go through his pockets.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring adjourned sentencing until next January. She said that she wants to see evidence that Kelly is making efforts to get himself off methadone.

She described Mr Wheefer's attitude to Kelly as "very generous". The victim said he knows Kelly and knows about his addiction problems and said that at no time during the burglary did Kelly injure anyone.

Mr Wheefer found Kelly in the upstairs bedroom of his home after the victim’s daughter told her father she heard noises from upstairs.

He confronted Kelly and the burglar threatened him before running out of the house. Mr Wheefer grabbed a garden hoe to defend himself and tried to corner Kelly and then chased after him.

Kelly has spent over 13 years of the last 15 years in custody. He appealed to the court for help, saying: "I've been here so long. I'm on a roller coaster and I can't get off it. I feel like my life is not worth living. I'm broke.”

"I accept it's my fault for everything I've done. I brought it on myself." He said that he finds it difficult to cope when he is released from custody.

He apologised for his crimes and said he was taking cocaine at the time of the burglary. He said he didn't know the other men intended to rob the drunk man on Harcourt Street.

Kelly has 34 previous convictions including burglary and robbery. He received a four year jail sentence in 2012 for aggravated burglary which was suspended but later activated in October 2013.

Fiona Murphy BL, defending, said Kelly's life spiralled out of control when he was in his twenties and he became addicted to heroin. She said he stopped abusing heroin in 2006.

Irish Independent

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