Burglar left with 17 pellets in his arm after homeowner shot him
A drug addict was left with 17 pellets in his arm when the son of an elderly Dublin farmer shot him as the burglar tried to make his getaway from a house he had broken into.
Matthew Fahey (36) had gone to the door of 79-year-old man and claimed his car had broken down. He later burgled the house after the homeowner had gone home.
Fahey, previously of Cappagh Road, Finglas, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to carrying out burglaries at Maryland Farm, Kilsallaghan, Swords, Dublin and at Milrace, Warrenbrook, Rolestown, Swords on April 12, 2012.
He also admitted committing burglary and car theft at Finnebarr Fort, Finglas, Dublin on August 29, 2011. He has 61 previous convictions.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring adjourned sentencing to July and granted him bail for one day in April to take a college entrance exam.
Garda Colm Donohoe told Shane Costelloe BL, prosecuting, that Richard Lowndes was in his home in Swords when Fahey and a woman came to his door.
Fahey said his mother was having car trouble and asked to call a taxi to get back to Dublin.
The farm owner made them tea and they stared chatting. After a while Mr Lowndes told the pair he had to go out and asked them to ring for their taxi
Mr Lowndes later left the house and travelled to Drogheda. His son arrived at the house later again and found it had been broken in and left in a dishevelled state. He then saw tyre tracks leading away from the house and across a field and heard noise from that direction.
He followed the noise and confronted Fahey and discharged his shotgun at the suspected burglar. That evening Fahey presented himself to a hospital Emergency Department with shotgun injuries and gardai were alerted to this and later arrested him.
The burglars took Eur200 and a Citizen and Seiko watch from the house. The court heard that Fahey also stole a computer games console, a laptop and jewellery from the house in Warrenbrook while the owners were on holidays.
Garda Sean Breheny told the court that the victim of the earlier Finglas burglary woke up in the middle of the night to see Fahey using stolen car keys to unlock his daughter's Honda Civic car which was blocking in his own Toyota Land Cruiser car in his driveway.
The victim recognised the burglar and shouted at him: "Fahey, you're robbing my house" and Fahey replied "Go away or I'll kill you". The homeowner ran inside to arm himself while Fahey drove the Honda Civic onto the road and then went back and drove off in the Land Cruiser.
Before stealing the car he had loaded it up with two laptops, one worth over Eur2,000, a Nikon camera, sunglasses worth $330 (dollars) and over Eur6,00 in cash. None of this property was ever recovered.
Fahey was on bail for other offences at the time of these burglaries. His previous convictions include seven thefts and four car thefts.
Vincent Heneghan BL, defending, said his client is a man "bedevilled with drug addiction all his life" but argued that there is hope for him.
He said Fahey took around 17 shotgun pellets in his arm and is in pain to this day.
He is now drug free and has given lectures to school children about the dangers of drugs and addiction, counsel said. He has contacted the Dublin Samaritans about training and assisting others who need help and also wants to go back to college.
"He didn't care about his victims on the day, he didn't treat them with respect but he was riddled with drug abuse," Mr Heneghan said.