Saturday 17 March 2018

Man who took part in burglaries to repay '15 grand' debt jailed

The Central Criminal Court
The Central Criminal Court

Fiona Ferguson

A 23-year-old man who took part in burglaries in south county Dublin in order to repay a debt has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison.

Michael Bayley told gardai that he owed “15 grand” to people who picked him up and brought him out to the scene of the offences. He fled the area in a stolen car which crashed following a high speed garda pursuit which reached a speed of 160 kph at one stage.

Bayley, of Foxdene Drive, Clondalkin, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two burglaries in Sallynoggin and dangerous driving on May 12, 2016. He has 22 previous convictions including aggravated burglary, public order and road traffic offences.

Judge Melanie Greally imposed a three and a half year sentence with the final 18 months suspended. She also disqualified him from driving for four years.

Garda James Wall told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that a homeowner at O'Rourke Park in Sallynoggin heard noises downstairs and shouted out the window at three men in their garden. The men left and gardai were alerted.

The homeowner later discovered that a Samsung Galaxy tablet and an iPad had been taken. These had particular value as they belonged to their daughter who was ill at the time.

Gda Wall said they arrived at the house and as they were taking statements they heard two cars pass by at high speed. Gardaí pursued the vehicles from Sallynoggin through the Glenageary and Blackrock areas.

The court heard that during the pursuit gardai were at one point driving at 160 kilometres per hour in a 50 kph speed zone in order to keep up with the cars. Gardaí lost one of the cars but continued pursing a car driven by Bayley.

Gda Wall said that the car failed to stop at red traffic lights, drove on the wrong side of the road and forced other road users to take evasive action. The car crashed in the Blackrock area and Bayley, who was alone in the car, was arrested.

The owner of the car driven by Bayley had been unaware it had been taken from her home at Rollins Villas in Sallynoggin until alerted by gardai that night. They then discovered sums of cash, including €100, from inside a birthday card, was also missing from their home.

Bayley told gardai he had been brought to the area by people he owed “15 grand” to and they told him they had something for him to do to clear some money off the debt. He said he had addictions, principally to diazepam and cocaine.

He acknowledged that himself or someone else could have been killed during the car chase and told gardai he had been given the keys to the car.

He said he did not recall taking the items from the sick child's house but that there were also other people present during the burglary and the items would be in the car.

Gda Wall agreed with Keith Spencer BL, defending, that Bayley described how he had used a screwdriver to open the door during the burglaries. He accepted Bayley had offered a full apology.

He agreed that Bayley told gardai his girlfriend had been expecting their first child at the time and that the child was now four to five months old.

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