Burglar caused €2k in damage to Mount Anville School office
A BURGLAR was caught red-handed by gardai ransacking an office in a south Dublin school, a court heard.
Joseph Bates (37) caused nearly €2,000 worth of damage after he broke a rear window in the school building.
Gardai saw Bates pulling drawers out of cupboards in a school office.
Judge Anne Watkin imposed a three-month sentence suspended for 24 months.
The defendant, of Boyne Street, Dublin 2, admitted before Dun Laoghaire District Court to burglary at Mount Anville School in Goatstown on September 3, 2015.
Garda Ronan Kennedy said gardai received a call from the caretaker after an intruder activated an alarm at the school.
Gda Kennedy said Bates broke a rear window to get into the school.
The garda said he went to the scene and saw Bates ransacking an office. He was pulling drawers out of cupboards, looking for "stuff to steal".
Gda Kennedy said Bates stole €200 in cash and caused €1,979 worth of damage to the school.
The court heard Bates has 45 previous convictions, including 11 previous burglary convictions.
Defence lawyer George Burns said Bates has been in custody on this charge since last September.
He also received a two-and-a-half-year sentence in October 2015 and is not due for release until August 2017.
Mr Burns said Bates has battled an addiction to heroin since his teens, however he is now drug free.
The court heard that Bates has had difficulties in the past, and he lost a few friends. He enjoys the support of his ex-partner and hopes to attend a residential treatment centre when he is released from prison.