A YOUNG man who broke into a Dundalk flat complex and burgled three apartments has been given a nine-month sentence, partially suspended, after the judge said people didn't sleep at night worrying about their homes being broken into.
Stephen McVeigh, (29), with an address at Flat 3, 24 Church Street, admitted burglary, trespass and handling stolen property at three flats in the Old Library complex on October 19th.
The court heard McVeigh had five previous convictions and solicitor Frank McDonnell said if ever there was a case of a life that was normal before this, then McVeigh's was it.
Mr. McDonnell said: 'His parents are very well regarded and his father worked in the USA for a time.
'Stephen went to school here, completed a FAS course and a welding course.
'Right up to that, his life was potentially very successful. But at that time, he started experimenting with cannabis.
' He wised up for a while but fell into it again and from that time to this, drugs have come to dominate his life'.
Mr. McDonnell said the probation service had high hopes for McVeigh but he had slipped up last month with these burglaries, which, he said, had been 'committed in full view of the world and his mother'.
Mr. McDonnell said McVeigh had made use of his time in custody and had even tried a residential course in Cuan Mhuire but had slipped again.
He said McVeigh's parents remain loyal to him
Judge Flann Brennan said he was taking everything into consideration and he had to sentence McVeigh to nine months, but he would suspend the final six months for six months.
He told McVeigh: 'I think you're a very sincere young man but you're a slave to this dreadful thing.
'Quite simply, you have to get over it. These offences are frightening people. There are people who don't sleep at night worrying about their premises being broken into.
' I'm not saying that you're in the same category, but people are nervous about people burgling them because they never know whether the burglars' intentions are as relatively unmalicious as yours might be.'