Tuesday 24 September 2019

Man who broke into six cars in half hour crime spree avoids jail

The case was brought before the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court
The case was brought before the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Aoife Nic Ardghail

A Dublin man who broke into six cars in a half hour crime spree has received a suspended sentence for criminal damage, theft and possessing stolen goods.

Dwayne Cullen (28) was captured on CCTV at a church car park smashing windows of six cars and taking items from some of the vehicles. He was later arrested at hostel lodgings with stolen goods.

Cullen, who received a two and a half year suspended sentence, wrote a letter handed into court to express his remorse and willingness to meet his victims under the Restorative Justice Programme.

Cullen, who is of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to criminal damage and theft at St Mark's Church car park, Pearse Street on January 25, 2017.

He also pleaded guilty to possessing a stolen laptop, an acoustic guitar, guitar pedals and an amplifier all worth €7,000 at Oakley Lodge, Oakley Road, Rathmines on the same date.

He has 23 previous convictions for mostly minor public order offences.

Garda Niall McLoughlin told Joseph Barnes BL, prosecuting, that Cullen smashed windows in all six vehicles and took items from three cars.

Two bags taken from two of the cars were recovered nearby and the stolen items found at his hostel were returned to their owners.

Gda McLoughlin said Cullen made full admissions on arrest.

The garda agreed with Sean O'Quigley BL, defending, that Cullen had addiction issues at the time.

Mr O'Quigley submitted to Judge Karen O'Connor that his client had won a Player of the Year award during his time on the under-18 football team with Cabra United.

Counsel said his client's life spiralled out of control when he suffered three family bereavements in recent years and he lost his job and became homeless and addicted to drugs.

Mr O'Quigley submitted to Judge O'Connor that Cullen was a different person when not abusing substances and wished now to go on a residential drug treatment programme.

Judge O'Connor noted that Cullen's offending was not a victimless crime as it caused distress, inconvenience and possibly issues with insurance premiums for the car owners.

Judge O'Connor suspended the sentence for 18 months and directed that Cullen undergo probation service supervision.

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