News Courts

Friday 19 January 2018

Teenager (18) broke into créche three times in six weeks causing over €17,000 in damages

The judge said it was for Feeney to decide “whether this is the end of his custodial life or not”.
The judge said it was for Feeney to decide “whether this is the end of his custodial life or not”.

Sonya McLean

A teenager who broke into the same crèche three times in the space of six weeks causing over €17,000 worth of damage has been sentenced to four years for this and four other burglaries.

Michael Feeney (18) and two unidentified accomplices caused a total of €27,995 worth of damage during the burglary spree but only stole seven car keys, a navy blue scarf, a small amount of cash and a cash box. The vehicles to which the car keys belonged were not touched by the gang.

Feeney of Ardmore Court, Fortunestown Lane, Tallaght, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal to the six burglaries, criminal damage and handling stolen car keys on dates between December 5, 2014 and January 16, 2015.

His 11 previous convictions include charges of criminal damage and today was his first appearance before the Circuit Court.

Feeney was identified as a suspect after gardaí viewed CCTV footage from the crèche. He was arrested at his home, where gardaí found the car keys hidden in a sock. He later made full admissions in garda interviews.

Detective Garda David Jennings said because of the burglaries and the extent of the damage a significant number of the children had to be sent home from the crèche.

George Burns BL, defending said his client associated with a criminal peer group and he left school at the age of 15 years old. He was remanded in custody last July pending sentence and counsel said there was a “marked improvement” in his behaviour with Feeney's mother instructing him: “I got my son back”.

Judge Martin Nolan said Feeney and his accomplices caused a significant amount of damage and disruption particularly to the crèche and the school.

He said it was for Feeney to decide “whether this is the end of his custodial life or not”.

“It is up to him to decide when he emerges whether he wants to go back there or not,” the judge said.

He sentenced Feeney to four years in prison and suspended the last 18 months on condition that he engages with the Probation Service for 18 months upon his release.

Det Gda Jennings told Fiona Murphy BL, prosecuting that the Little Children's Centre in Tallaght was burgled on December 5, December 11 and January 16, 2015, while the adjoining premises of St Anne's National School was burgled on December 11 and January 16.

He said in the first burglary of the crèche a navy blue scarf was taken and €3,900 worth of damage was caused to an external door and internal doors that had been kicked open.

In the second burglary €4,500 worth of damage was caused and in the final break-in €9,000 worth of damage was caused and a small amount of cash was taken.

St Anne's National School was broken into twice by Feeney and his accomplices causing a total of €2,738 worth of damage. The glass in the front door was smashed and a number of offices were ransacked but nothing was taken in any of the burglaries

Two other Tallaght premises in Whitestown Business Park were also burgled causing €450 worth of damage in one and €7,367 in the other. In the first of these burglaries seven car keys and cash box were taken but the vehicles to which the keys belonged were not stolen.

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