Wednesday 21 August 2019

Man with 111 previous convictions who looted shop during Storm Emma jailed

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court (Stock photo)
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court (Stock photo)

Fiona Ferguson

A Tallaght man arrested following the looting of a Centra store during Storm Emma last year has been sentenced to two years in prison with the final year suspended.

John Doyle (38), who has 111 previous convictions, threw trolleys in the path of gardaí as they chased him through the store.

He was in the shop for one minute and 30 seconds before gardaí arrived and was found with three packets of cigarettes.

Doyle, of Russell Drive, Russell Square, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to trespassing at Centra, Kiltalown, Tallaght, on March 2, 2018 with the intention of committing theft.

Yesterday, Judge Melanie Greally said to act as Doyle did "during a national emergency" was something that justified a prison sentence, adding that "under no circumstances could I consider a non-custodial sentence".

"It was undoubtedly a very serious incident of anti-social and destructive behaviour, which brought shame on his community and his family," the judge said.

She accepted that Doyle had a long-term partner who was "a very positive influence on him", and also accepted that he was a devoted family man.

Judge Greally said she was taking into account Doyle's expression of remorse, his efforts to rehabilitate and a large number of testimonials and references handed in on his behalf before she suspended the final 12 months of a two-year sentence.

At a previous sitting of the court, Detective Garda David Jennings told Eoghan Cole BL, prosecuting, that gardaí received a call shortly before 8pm during the "atrocious" weather conditions of Storm Emma that the security door of a Centra shop had been breached with a mechanical saw by a group of people.

Gardaí made their way as far as they could in a Jeep and the remainder of the way on foot.

As they arrived, a large group of people on the road began shouting warnings that gardaí were coming.

Gardaí entered the shop and Doyle took off towards the back of the premises, throwing trolleys to obstruct them.

Irish Independent

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