Monday 24 September 2018

Rugby players tackled man armed with hammer after he smashed open safe in dry cleaners, court hears

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Stock picture

Brion Hoban

A man who entered a dry cleaners with a hammer while on bail and smashed open a safe was later apprehended by rugby players.

Alan Judge (43) of Shangan Park, Ballymun, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary and criminal damage of a dry cleaners in Sutton, and to trespass at Sutton rugby club, both on May 6, 2016.

Judge Terrence O’Sullivan sentenced him to a two-year suspended sentence which will run consecutively to a four year sentence Judge is currently serving.

Garda Marie Geraghty told John Quirke BL, prosecuting, that she received a call about a burglary at Sutton Dry Cleaners while on patrol in the area at around 8PM.

When she arrived bystanders pointed to a man on a nearby roof trying to hide. Gda Geraghty identified the man as Judge before he ran away.

The manager of the dry cleaners had the CCTV of the premises linked to her phone. She had been checking something on the CCTV when she saw a man with a shirt covering his head and holding a hammer inside the premises.

Gda Geraghty searched the building and found an empty safe which had been smashed open. The floor was covered with coins and there was a smashed bottle of vodka but nothing was stolen from the dry cleaners.

Judge was arrested later that night at Sutton Rugby Club. He was spotted entering the dressing rooms of the club and was detained by several rugby players who called the gardaí.

At the time of these offences Judge was out on bail relating to other burglary charges. He was subsequently convicted for these on December 15 2016 and sentenced to four years in prison with the final 18 months suspended.

The court heard the father-of-three has 75 previous convictions, including 46 for burglary.

Luigi Rea BL, defending, told the court that his client had a long-term drug addiction. He said Judge was currently drug free and urine had been taken for analysis but the results of the test were not in court.

He is scheduled for release from prison next August. He will begin serving his two year suspended sentence from that date onwards.

Judge apologised to the court for “this type of carry on at my age” and asked to be placed in a drug treatment centre following the completion of his custodial sentence.

Judge O’Sullivan said the mitigating factors in the case were the guilty plea, his apology and the progress he had made since being detained in custody.

He said the suspended sentence would follow the same terms as Judge’s previous suspended sentence, that he would keep the peace and be of good behaviour for the duration of the sentence and follow the directions of the probation services.

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