Wednesday 22 May 2019

'Inept' burglar was 'exceptionally drunk' when he fell asleep in armchair of house he had broken into

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Aoife Nic Ardghail

An “exceptionally” drunk burglar who fell asleep in the kitchen armchair of the house he was raiding has been jailed for two years.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that David English, the home owner, initially thought Mark O'Mahony (33) was his son when he found the intruder sleeping in an armchair at the end of his kitchen table.

O'Mahony woke up and repeatedly claimed that Mr English had let him into the house, but co-operated with emptying his pockets when asked to do so.

Mr English's wife entered the kitchen a short time later and the couple retained O'Mahony until gardai arrived.

Judge Martin Nolan commented that a burglar falling asleep in the middle of a crime was “a new departure” in his court.

“This could be described as an inept non-violent burglary,” he said, noting that O'Mahony had behaved himself and used no violence towards the householders.

O'Mahony, a father-of-two of St Donagh's Road, Donaghmede, Dublin, pleaded guilty to burglary at Carndonagh Park, Donaghmede, on June 10, 2017.

He also pleaded guilty to possessing a medical card, driving license and jacket belonging to Eric Mulrooney at the same location. He has 86 previous convictions, including theft, robbery and handling stolen property.

Garda Jason Flynn told Dean Kelly BL, prosecuting, that Mr English's son had departed for the airport between 3am and 4am and had left the front door open.

Mr English was getting up for work a short time later when he discovered O'Mahony asleep in the kitchen.

Gda Flynn said O'Mahony emptied his pockets on request when Mr English noticed his wife's bag on the kitchen counter. The intruder was later found with about €100 in cash taken from the bag.

The garda revealed that a car in the area had also been broken into that night and items, including a jacket, were taken.

He said O'Mahony was “exceptionally” drunk and wearing this jacket when gardai arrived at the Carndonagh Park premises.

He agreed with Helen-Claire O'Hanlon BL, defending, that the weather had been “atrocious” on the night.

He further agreed that O'Mahony told him he had been at his uncle's funeral and couldn't recall anything else after he had dropped his grandmother home.

Gda Flynn accepted that O'Mahony had a serious drug addiction.

Ms O'Hanlon submitted to Judge Nolan that the funeral had triggered events for her client, who was very remorseful and embarrassed because he knew relatives of the English household.

Judge Nolan said he suspected O'Mahony stole the coat because of the weather.

He said if O'Mahony had shown the “slightest” bit of violence towards the householders, the sentence would have been doubled.

He imposed a two year jail term, backdated to when O'Mahony entered custody on the matter in June last year.

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