Men posing as workers 'were sawing into door'

Two men who posed as workmen in hard hats and hi-viz vests were caught trying to saw open a front door

By Eimear Cotter

TWO men who posed as workmen in hard hats and hi-viz vests were caught trying to saw open a front door.

The action of James O'Hanlon (66) and Thomas Ashton (48) alerted a neighbour who called gardai.

Dublin District Court heard that when officers spoke to the pair, their story "did not check out".

Judge Bryan Smyth adjourned the matter to March to allow the pair to pay for the damage they caused.

O'Hanlon, of Cushlawn Dale, Tallaght, and Ashton, of Harelawn Park, Clondalkin, admitted criminal damage and possession of articles for use in a theft at Wheatfield Road, Clondalkin, last July 9.

Gda Malachi McGarvey said officers were called to the scene by a concerned neighbour who thought the men's behaviour was suspicious.

He said the defendants, both wearing hard hats and hi-viz jackets, were in the driveway of the property.

He said they had a con saw and it appeared they were trying to saw open the front door.

Gda McGarvey said the owner was not in the house at the time, and the men's "story did not check out".

He said the damage caused to the front door was estimated at €1,000.

The men also had a lump hammer and a crowbar.

Defence solicitor Lorraine Stephens said Ashton was "desperate for money" at the time of the offence.

She said his marriage had broken down and his wife had gone back to England, leaving him without any money, as she had been working and he was not in receipt of social welfare.

In relation to O'Hanlon, Ms Stephens said he is currently undergoing chemotherapy.

The pair each had €200 in court, but had not been able to come up with €1,000 as they were under financial pressure.

Judge Smyth adjourned sentencing to a date in March, saying he will consider imposing suspended sentences if the men pay for the damage they caused.