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A MAN who burgled the home of his parish priest has walked free from Dublin Circuit Criminal Court with a suspended sentence.

A MAN who burgled the home of his parish priest has walked free from Dublin Circuit Criminal Court with a suspended sentence.

The court heard that Joseph Morgan (31) has since written a letter apologising to Fr Joseph McLoughlin, a man who had helped him and whom he had known all his life.

Morgan, with an address at Corduff Green in Blanchardstown, pleaded guilty to committing theft at Parochial House, Blackcourt Rd, Blanchardstown on July 7, 2012.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring sentenced Morgan to three years in prison but suspended it in full on condition that he be supervised by probation services for 18 months.

She also ordered Morgan to follow all directions made in relation to drug treatment, rehabilitation, training and employment.

The court heard that Morgan had failed to sign on and that a bench warrant was issued for him when he failed to turn up for a previous court appearance.

Judge Ring noted that probation were still willing to deal with Morgan despite all his failures.

She said there were signs that Morgan was "slowly turning the corner," but warned him that he was "running a fine line".

"The probation services are about to wash their hands of you," Judge Ring said as she urged Morgan to abide by the terms of his sentence.

Garda Niall Bright said that Fr McLoughlin had heard noises and then a loud bang out the back on the night in question. He saw Morgan at his kitchen window, recognised him and gave chase.

Morgan was arrested and gardaĆ­ said he was high on drugs. He had been seen jumping from a second floor window in the mistaken belief he was on ground level.

He was found in possession of a box of tablets and some notes in foreign currency which had been stolen from the priest. Another bag containing money and a laptop had been left in front of the parochial house for collection later.

Fr McLoughlin said several rooms in the house had been gone through.

Morgan has 65 previous convictions, mainly for District Court matters, but including two burglaries for which he received two three-year sentences.

The court heard that Morgan's sister passed away in early December. Dean Kelly BL, defending, said Morgan has abstained from cannabis and other drugs since January 2013.

He said Morgan is an extreme sufferer from ADHD, but is much more stable today and taking his medication.


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