Burglar gets three years for break-in at Shatter's home
A BURGLAR who broke into the home of Justice Minister Alan Shatter while on bail has received a three-year jail sentence. Eighteen months of this was suspended.
Darragh Heavey (26) was arrested shortly after the break-in when gardai stopped him and matched his shoes with muddy footprints inside Mr Shatter's home.
Heavey, of Moeran Road, Walkinstown, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary at Delbrook Manor, Ballinteer on March 18, 2012.
He had previously been caught in possession of a sawn-off shotgun and shotgun cartridges under suspicious circumstances on March, 16, 2011.
Heavey was charged two days later and pleaded guilty on March 3, 2012. Granted bail, he carried out the burglary at the minister's house 15 days later.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring imposed a three-year jail term but suspended the last 18 months on condition that Heavey keep the peace for two years after his release.
The sentence must be consecutive to the sentence currently being served by Heavey because he was on bail when he committed this offence.
Det Sgt Eugene Stapleton told the court the minister's house was unoccupied at the time and that it was a random burglary. Mr Shatter and his wife were abroad on government business.
After an alarm had gone off at Mr Shatter's house, gardai found mucky footprints with a distinctive pattern.
Shortly afterwards, they stopped Heavey at a nearby parkway and asked to see the soles of his shoes. They had the same pattern and gardai arrested him.
Heavey told gardai: "It was unprofessional, mediocre and downright stupid. It was a reckless action through impaired judgment on my part."
He has 20 previous convictions. On July 7, 2012, he was sentenced to four years with 18 months suspended for the firearms offences of March 2011.