Friday 20 July 2018

Dad-of-two almost bled to death after falling through skylight during burglary

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Aoife Nic Ardghail

A Dublin father-of-two who almost bled to death from arm injuries after falling through the skylight of a vehicle glass repair business he was burgling has received a two year suspended sentence.

Blood trails led from where Stephen McCullagh (38) had fallen through the skylight into various offices and around the drawers in which he had rummaged, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court was told.

Gardaí were notified about an injured trespasser by members of the Dublin Fire Brigade and medical staff had to force the shutters open and pop a lock to get to McCullagh.

Garda Keith O'Brien said he had “no idea” how McCullagh had climbed up on the roof.

“I have no idea how he got up there...I don't know how he did it,” the garda told Elva Duffy BL, prosecuting, when describing how he had scanned the building for access points.

Gda O'Brien agreed with Luigi Rea BL, defending, that McCullagh had been told by medical staff that he'd technically bled to death but that air bubbles in his heart had kept him alive.

McCullagh, with an address at Rutland Avenue, Crumlin, pleaded guilty to criminal damage of the skylight at Mr Windscreen, Crumlin Road, Crumlin, on June 4, 2017. He has 69 previous convictions, including burglaries, thefts, drugs possession and road traffic offences.

Gda O'Brien told Ms Duffy that he first encountered McCullagh at the business in a lot of pain and with towels wrapped around both arms.

The garda said McCullagh later revealed he had taken around 20 tablets on the night and remembered very little of the burglary, apart from hearing sirens.

McCullagh showed Judge Martin Nolan the scars on his biceps and down his elbow. He told the judge he has no feeling in the injured fingers.

Mr Rea submitted to Judge Nolan that McCullagh has to wear splints and suffers from palsies.

Counsel said his client “in a physical sense has been punished and will continue to suffer”. He asked the judge to be lenient in the hope McCullagh had learned his lesson.

Judge Nolan accepted McCullagh had almost bled to death in his attempt to steal from the premises, but that luckily for him gardaí arrived.  He described McCullagh as a “sad case” and suspended the sentence for two years.

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