Tuesday 16 October 2018

Dublin burglar got haircut next door immediately before break-in... and was caught on CCTV

File photo
File photo

Sarah Jane Murphy

A BURGLAR caught on CCTV having a haircut before he offended has been jailed for 17 months.

Matthew Ahern (53) broke into a young mother's home after going into the barber's next door for a trim, a court was told.

He fled with two mobile phones after the woman confronted him, but was later identified from CCTV recovered from the barber's and arrested.

Sentencing Ahern, Judge Karen O'Connor said she considered it very serious that the family home, where a mother and her twins were taking an afternoon nap, was "violated".

Ahern, of St Brigid's Court, Raheny, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary at Collins Avenue East, Killester, on February 17, 2016.

The court heard he had 48 previous convictions, including seven for burglary, dating back to 1982.

Gda Laura Nulty told an earlier hearing that the homeowner was asleep in a bedroom after putting her children down for a nap at 2.30pm.

She heard rustling noises and thought her husband was in the room, but then saw Ahern taking her iPad and laptop from a dresser.

She grabbed back the items and Ahern then took two mobile phones before leaving the house.

CCTV recovered from the barber's showed Ahern having a haircut immediately before the break-in and he was arrested, Gda Nulty added.

She agreed with Seoirse O'Dunlaing, defending, that although it was traumatic for the woman to find an unknown man in her home, he had no implements on him and it had been a "smash and grab".

chaotic

Mr O'Dunlaing said Ahern had not come to the attention of gardai since the offence.

Judge O'Connor noted that Ahern had made a huge effort on his methadone maintenance programme and in changing his chaotic lifestyle.

However, she said a mother's home and her sense of safety were violated.

She sentenced Ahern to three years in prison with the final 19 months suspended.

Judge O'Connor advised Ahern to use the suspended portion of his sentence as a focus, to keep him out of trouble while in custody.

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