Tuesday 21 August 2018

Man who presented himself at garda station 'in distressed state' and admitted to burglary gets suspended sentence

Store Street Garda station. Picture: Google Maps
Store Street Garda station. Picture: Google Maps

Fiona Ferguson

A man who turned up at a Dublin garda station “in a distressed state” and spontaneously admitted to having been involved in a burglary the previous day has received a suspended sentence.

Garda Brian Hunt, of Store Street Garda Station, said Michael Alexis (53) had presented “in a bad way physically and mentally” and “alluded” to having been involved in a burglary.

Alexis was not sure where it had taken place but using the information given to them gardaí were able to retrieve stolen electrical equipment. They found only one burglary had been reported the previous day and were able to return the items to their owners.

Alexis, of Fonthill Cottages, Clondalkin, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary at The Gasworks Apartments, Dublin 4 on September 25, 2015. He has nine previous convictions in the district court including theft and drugs offences.

Today Judge Karen O'Connor accepted that the other people involved had greater roles in the offence and imposed a two and a half year suspended sentence.

She noted Alexis's mental health issues and difficulty with alcohol and ordered that he attend addiction treatment programmes and do offence focused work under probation service supervision.

“You're getting a chance here to address your problems”, the judge told Alexis, adding: “You have a difficult journey ahead of you but I sincerely hope you will be able to achieve it”.

At the sentence hearing, the court heard that the burglary occurred between 9.30am and 11am while the residents were out. They returned to find the apartment ransacked and some property missing including four laptops, a tablet and iPad mini.

The following day Alexis attended at Store Street station in a “distressed state” and told gardaí he had been involved in a burglary where a large amount of electrical equipment was taken. He was able to say the property had been taken to a premises on Moore Street.

Alexis was initially sectioned under the mental health act but was interviewed by gardaí the following month. He told gardaí he had not known about the burglary in advance and the individual he was with had a key. He said his role was a lookout and he had “drank” the €200 he received.

Defence counsel John Moher BL told the court Alexis, originally from Grenada, had trained as a chef and had a strong work history which included a number of "well known establishments."

While working in Toronto Alexis met and married an Irish woman. He came to Ireland but after this relationship and a subsequent one broke down Alexis began having issues with alcohol abuse.

Counsel said Alexis wished to work again and submitted his client was someone who was turning a corner. He asked the court to take into account his personal circumstances and his admissions – without which there would be no case against him.

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