Thursday 18 January 2018

Man jailed after breaking into woman's house and tying her up with power cord as he searched for valuables

Conor Gallagher

A man has been jailed for three years for breaking into a young Cork woman’s house in the early hours of the morning and tying her up with a power cord while he searched for valuables.

Wayne Keogh (34) was caught after gardaí recognised his voice on a recording made when he called a taxi company for a car to take him away from the house.

Judge Carmel Stewart called it a terrifying ordeal for the victim. She imposed a five year term and suspended the final two years so Keogh can continue the progress he has made in custody.

Keogh of Glenaraneen, Brittas, County Dublin pleaded guilty to burglary and false imprisonment of Claire Spillane (24) at Holywell, Dundrum, Dublin on August 16, 2012.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Ms Spillane was watching television and dozing off when she heard the front door open. Keogh entered the room and demanded her mobile phone.

He then told Ms Spillane that he wasn’t going to hurt her and that he doesn’t usually break into occupied houses. He also ordered her to look at the ground and not to look at his face.

Garda David Bunn told prosecuting counsel John Byrne BL that Keogh tied the woman’s hands very tightly using a laptop cord. He then found the key to a safe and told her he wasn’t leaving until he opened it.

Ms Spillane later said that Keogh “seemed all over the place” as he made her kneel, with her hands bound, in front of the hot press when he searched the upstairs bedrooms.

She said he seemed to be getting increasingly aggressive and agitated as he continued the search and she got a strong smell of alcohol from him.

He told her to order him a taxi on her phone but ended up making the call himself. He talked with Mr Spillane as he waited and told her a little about himself, she later said. He also smoked one of her cigarettes.

Keogh sprayed bleach on her phone in an effort to cover his tracks. He then took the woman downstairs and tied her hands to the sink in the bathroom while he escaped in the taxi.

Ms Spillane waited until she hadn’t heard anything for 20 minutes before getting free and going to her neighbours for help.

Keogh was arrested after gardaí recognised his voice on the taxi company’s phone log. They also found his DNA on the discarded cigarette butt he left at the scene.

He has 46 previous convictions including five for burglary. His defence counsel, Tara Burns SC, said he was a serious drug addict at the time.

She said he has been in and out of prison since his teens and only recently meet his estranged birth father who died shortly afterwards.

Counsel said Keogh, a father of one, is now determined to improve his life and is taking an Open University course in while in prison.

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