Saturday 18 November 2017

Man armed with garden shears took part in burglary during which woman and tied up in her home

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Stock picture

Sonya McLean

A man who was armed with a garden shears when he and an accomplice tied up a woman and destroyed her home looking for cash has been sentenced to six years.

Dean Fagan (26) told the other man “don't fucking kill her” after this man hit the victim with a hammer while demanding cash. They had already taken €1,500 they had found in the sitting room.

 The woman's hands were tied up and she was escorted around the house, while the man ripped open a suite of furniture and a mattress with a knife looking for more cash. They filled a black bag with jewellery, laptops and phones.

The burglars demanded her takings for the month, referring to cigarettes that she had been selling herself.

They said they were in the Real IRA and that they had been responsible for burning her car out a month previously.

The woman managed to escape through a back door and locked the intruders inside. They got out through a window and got away on pedal bikes they had left nearby.

Fagan of Kildare Park, Crumlin, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to aggravated burglary at the woman's home on July 24, 2014. He has 79 previous convictions which include burglary, criminal damage and road traffic offences.

Judge Melanie Greally said that Fagan's accomplice, who has never been caught, was so violent Fagan felt he had “to ask him to exercise some restraint” but she noted that he was nonetheless armed with a weapon himself.

“You were implicit in threatening her, stealing her money and ransacking her home,” the judge said before she added that Fagan had also tied the woman up with straps from her handbag.

She said he had a significant number of convictions which created a “general picture of chaos and criminality”.

She noted from a victim impact report before the court that the woman “is quite simply afraid to be on her own generally as a result of your actions”.

Judge Greally said it was “an excellent investigation” which led to Fagan's arrest. She accepted he made admissions and suspended the final year of the six year sentence on strict conditions.

Garda Stephen Tierney told Lorcan Staines BL, prosecuting that gardaí viewed footage from nearby CCTV cameras and saw a man dumping items into a bin minutes after the burglary. They later retrieved clothing and a hammer from the bin and Fagan's DNA was found on the clothing. He was arrested and made full admissions.

Gda Tierney agreed with Bernard Condon SC, defending that his client told gardaí he was sorry the woman got hurt.

Mr Condon handed in a psychiatric report and a letter from Fagan's grandfather.

He asked Judge Greally to take into account his client's co-operation, his remorse and the fact that he was doing well since his remand in prison.

Gda Tierney said the woman woke up to two men coming into her bedroom. They told her not to scream and demanded money. When she said she had no cash they asked about €1,500 they had already found in the sofa.

He said Fagan had tights over his head and was carrying a garden shears while the other man had a hammer.

The other man attacked the woman with the hammer, hitting her in the leg. She was later treated with medication after a cut she sustained during the assault became infectious.

Online Editors

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