A man who broke into a house in order to get money to travel abroad to visit a sick relative has avoided a prison sentence.
Noel Kelly (47), who has no previous convictions, was deemed suitable by the Probation Services to complete 120 hours of community service instead of a three-month prison sentence.
Garda Joseph Kavanagh said he saw Kelly climbing from the garden of the house over a wall at around 4am.
He arrested Kelly and found him to be in possession of a rucksack with the tools inside. He was also wearing a pair of latex gloves.
Garda Kavanagh told the court the house was empty at the time of the burglary.
Defence solicitor Valerie Buckley told Judge David McHugh the father-of-five had been drinking and received bad news about a relative abroad who was ill.
"He met another man, who told him he knows a way of getting money to help him travel abroad," said Ms Buckley, adding that the events were "completely out of character".
"He has little or no recollection and the unknown person encouraged him to take part in the crime," she said.
Judge McHugh responded to that by saying: "He's a grown man."
Kelly, of Kiltalawn Avenue in Tallaght, pleaded guilty at Blanchardstown District Court to trespassing and theft at a house in Cherrywood Drive in Clondalkin on February 19.
He also pleaded guilty to being in possession of tools with the intent to use them in the course of a burglary.
Kelly had his case previously adjourned at Blanchardstown Court for him to attend with the Probation Services to see if he is suitable for community service work.