Tuesday 20 March 2018

Man who tried to break into apartment to get money for daughter's communion jailed for two years

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

Conor Gallagher

A man who attempted to break into a foreign student's Dublin apartment to get money for his daughter's First Communion has been jailed for two years, with the final two months suspended.

Thomas Wall (29) told gardaí he had missed the Communion because he had been “locked up” and was trying to gather some money to give to his daughter afterwards. He said he had also recently lost his mother and was trying to get money so he could put a picture on her gravestone.

He was caught when the occupant of the apartment opened the curtains and saw Wall outside trying to open the window.

Sentencing Wall in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today, Judge Brian O'Callaghan said: “Invading anybody's home, where they are entitled to assume that they are secure, is a serious offence”.

However, he noted there was no force or violence in the commission of the offence and no-one was harmed. He said Wall, a heroin user, had made good progress recently in addressing his addiction.

Wall of Charlemont Street, Dublin pleaded guilty to attempted burglary at High Street, Dublin on September 18, 2015. He has 75 previous convictions including 15 for burglary.

The court previously heard the apartment was occupied by a Venezuelan woman who was in Ireland studying English. She woke up to a noise at the window and screamed when she saw Wall on the balcony outside trying to push it open. He continued trying to get in while she called her for help.

Prosecuting counsel James Dwyer BL said Wall then left the balcony and was arrested outside by gardaí who were nearby.

He told gardaí he had gone to the apartment complex to smoke some heroin and decided to try and steal some money for his daughter. The court heard that Wall had not seen his daughter since going into custody last year but wanted to play a bigger role in her life.

Judge O'Callaghan sentenced him to two years in jail but suspended the last two months on condition he be of good behaviour for 18 months.

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