Wednesday 11 December 2019

Man broke into apartment with fire extinguisher and stole hair straightener, court told

Courts of Criminal Justice
Courts of Criminal Justice
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

A BURGLAR who broke into a Dublin apartment with a fire extinguisher and stole a hair straightener and a laptop computer has been jailed for a month.

Stephen Walsh (32), a recovering drug addict, had relapsed at the time he burgled the apartment in the city's docklands.

Judge Ann Watkin sentenced him to eight months in prison, with seven suspended.

The accused, with an address at Portland Row, Dublin 1 pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court to burglary at an apartment at Castleforbes Square on May 9, 2013.

The case was heard previously and was back before the court for the production of a probation report.

Judge Watkin noted that the accused had had a "chaotic lifestyle".

Defence Barrister Cathal O'Braonain said Walsh had now fully compensated the victim for the €1,900 worth of property taken. He asked the judge to give him "one final opportunity".

"It's his 12th burglary - he should be going to jail," the judge said.

Previously, the court heard there was nobody in the apartment when Walsh went there and damaged the door with a fire extinguisher. He went inside and took a laptop and GHD hair straightener.

He was subsequently identified and arrested but the property was not recovered.

He had a total of 48 prior convictions for offences including burglary and theft, had been on heroin from an early age and had detoxed but relapsed at the time of the burglary.

Walsh had never been on methadone, preferring to go "cold turkey" instead.

He had gone for after-care following a residential treatment programme and continued to attend counselling.

Judge Watkin said the justice system could "come to the end of the road with giving people opportunities".

Walsh also pleaded guilty to an unrelated charge of driving without insurance.

Irish Independent

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