Burglar who broke into Shatter home was on bail at the time
A burglar was on bail for possession of a sawn-off shotgun when he broke into the home of Justice Minister Alan Shatter.
Darragh Heavey (26) was arrested shortly after the break-in when gardai stopped him and matched his shoes with muddy footprints found inside Mr Shatter's home.
Heavey of Moeran Road, Walkinstown, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary at Delbrook Manor, Ballinteer, on March 18, 2012.
Detective Sergeant Eugene Stapleton told the court that Heavey was caught in possession of a sawn-off shotgun and shotgun cartridges under suspicious circumstances on March, 16. 2011.
He was charged two days later and granted bail. He was still on bail when he carried out the burglary on the minister's house while Mr Shatter was out of the country on government business.
On July 30 last, he received a sentence of four years for the firearms offences.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring adjourned sentencing for the burglary until tomorrow.
Sgt Stapleton told the court that the minister's house was unoccupied at the time and that it was a random burglary.
He said an alarm panel had been ripped off the wall and a kitchen window had been forced open and damaged.
Gardai found mucky footprints with a distinctive pattern. Shortly afterwards, gardai stopped Heavey at a nearby parkway and asked to see the soles of his shoes.
The soles had the same pattern as the footprints and gardai arrested Heavey.
During a search of the area around the minister's home, gardai found two watches, a bag of US coins, gardening gloves, a mini-crowbar and two screwdrivers.
Mr Shatter told gardai they were his watches. He said that he had purchased one of them abroad many years ago for €20 and his late father-in-law had given him the second, a Seiko watch that he valued at around €60. He said the bag of loose change was as a result of trips to the United States.
After using his right to silence during four garda interviews, Heavey admitted carrying out the burglary. He told gardai: "It was unprofessional, mediocre and down right stupid. It was a reckless action through impaired judgement."
He said he was abusing the drug Zimovane at the time and living a reclusive lifestyle.
The court heard that when told who the owner of the house was, Heavey replied: "Who's that?"
Mr Baxter said his client was abusing Zimovane but is clean at the moment and is taking Prozac while in custody.