Sunday 25 February 2018

Teen jailed after “fishing” burglary of garda’s house

Conor Gallagher

A teen has been jailed for two years for a “fishing” style burglary of a garda’s house, during which a garda patrol car was stolen.

Noel Saunders (19) and his accomplice gained entry to the house by putting a fishing rod through the letter box and lifting the keys from the hallway table. They then stole the two cars out front, one of which was an unmarked patrol car, as well as a handbag containing €600.

The patrol car belonged to a member of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation and was later recovered while the other car was sold on and is still missing. The handbag was found near the scene with €400 missing from it.

Saunders of Mountpellier View, Jobstown, Tallaght pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to trespass and theft at the house in Lucan on February 4, 2012. He has 17 previous convictions and is facing several more burglary charges in Kildare next month.

Detective Garda Padraig Jennings told prosecuting counsel Maurice Coffey BL that the garda and his wife were asleep at the time of the break-in and were not disturbed. Saunders was caught soon afterwards following another burglary and admitted his role

The father of two said he took that cars to sell them on and did not realise one of them was a garda patrol car. He claimed he waited outside the house during the break-in and did not receive a share of the stolen €400.

Defence counsel Conor Devally SC said Saunders was on a cocktail of drugs at the time. He described his client as an “in and out style” burglar who avoids confronting residents.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring imposed two years detention and backdated it until last January when Saunders went into custody.

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