Father broke into 11 homes in three days

jail: Thief also had k34k of coke

Conor Gallagher

A MAN who burgled 11 Portmarnock neighbours over three days has been given a 10-year sentence for these and other offences.

Thomas Barry (34) was also sentenced for possession of €34,000 worth of cocaine, stealing €14,000 from a shop manager and robbing a Centra. He committed the majority of the offences while on bail for the drugs charge.

Father-of-two Barry, of Buttercup Park, Darndale, Dublin 17, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine for sale or supply at Killester Avenue, Killester, on February 14, theft in Coolock Village Centre on March 9, 22 counts of theft and criminal damage on Station Road, Portmarnock between July 7 and 9 and robbery at Centra on the Malahide Road on October 16, all in 2009.

He burgled 11 neighbouring apartments in Portmarnock over three days.

He has 58 previous convictions including burglary, theft, handling stolen property and drugs charges.

Judge Katherine Delahunt at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court noted that he has been in custody for over a year since his arrest but has been using his time wisely and has made contact with various agencies regarding his continuing rehabilitation.

She imposed consecutive sentences totalling 10 years and suspended the final three years on strict conditions.

Garda Margaret Kelly told prosecuting counsel, Damien Colgan, that Barry and another man went around three apartment complexes in Portmarnock, kicking in the doors and stealing whatever valuables they found inside.

The stolen items mainly consisted of watches, MP3 players and phones. However one man reported having over €13,000 worth of jewellery taken.

The apartment doors had been broken off the frames and each cost around €1,000 to repair. Barry was caught when he and his accomplice were spotted in one of the buildings on the third day of burglaries.

Gardai arrived quickly on the scene and he was chased and arrested. He made full admissions and explained that he and the other man knocked on the apartment doors and if there was no reply, they would break in and burgle them.