Saturday 16 December 2017

Man who 'owed €7,000 in drugs money' committed three failed burglaries in south Dublin in one night


Isabel Hayes

A man is to be sentenced in June for committing three failed burglaries in south Dublin in one night.

Gavin Fitzhenry (32) of Russell Lane,Tallaght, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to three burglaries in south Dublin in the early hours of June 27, 2014.

Garda Vincent Carroll told the court that in the first incident, the female occupant of a home in Palmerston Road, Rathmines, was lying awake at 1am when she saw the light come on in her house.

Her bedroom door opened and a man entered the room, apparently unaware that she was lying there. The woman “froze”, the court heard, before the man spotted her and said, “I'm sorry”. She started screaming and he fled the scene.

Shortly afterwards, at 2.45am, a man was listening to music in his house on Kilmacud Road, Dundrum, when his dog growled and he saw a dark silhouette in his dining room.

The man ran at the intruder and pushed him outside the house. The intruder said, “Don't hit me, don't hit me,” before fleeing. The man's wife and three young daughters were asleep upstairs.

At 4.10am, another resident of Kilmacud Road was woken by a banging noise coming from his bathroom.

He looked out the window and saw a man on the roof of his extension, clinging to the windowsill. The resident shouted and the intruder jumped off the roof and fled. The man's wife and two sons were asleep in the house at the time.

Fitzhenry was spotted near the scene by gardaí a short time later. He fled and hid in some bushes before he was caught.

Fitzhenry told gardaí he broke into the houses because he owed €7000 in drugs money.

In victim impact reports handed in to court, Fitzhenry's victims said they were fearful of their safety and felt vulnerable in the wake of the intrusions. The children were all light sleepers now, constantly waking their parents and scared when they heard any noise, the court heard.

Fitzhenry's counsel Luigi Rea BL said his client suffered from drug abuse and depression and had been in custody since March. He was expecting his first child later this year and was anxious to prove he was drug-free, the court heard.

Judge Elma Sheahan remanded Fitzhenry in custody until June 7, when he will be sentenced.

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