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Burglar in 'savage' attack for car keys

A Dublin man who broke into a home and "savagely" attacked the owner to get keys for a car he later used in a robbery has been jailed for six years.

Kenneth Locke (25) and his accomplice threatened to shoot Stephen Stein before breaking the door in and attacking him.

Mr Stein tried to fight them off but the attackers beat him over the head with a metal bar until he let them have the keys to his car. They used the car in a petrol station robbery three hours later.

Detective Garda Ronan Coffey said that the man suffered a small fracture to his skull and facial bruising.

Locke of Ramillies Road, Ballyfermot pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to aggravated burglary at Ballyfermot Drive, Ballyfermot on January 21, 2012.


He has 113 previous convictions, including robbery, car hijacking, firearms possession, dangerous driving, criminal damage and endangerment offences.

Det Gda Coffey told Michael Bowman BL, prosecuting, that Mr Stein had just purchased a new Skoda Superb and left the keys on his bedside locker before going to sleep. He was awoken by the sounds of the man kicking at his front door. He put his head out of his window and they shouted back at him: "Give us the keys or we're going to shoot you".

He picked up the phone to call gardai and walked downstairs. Det Coffey said that Mr Stein then dropped the phone in the dark and couldn't find it.


The intruders burst through the door and overpowered the victim, punching him around the head and hitting him around the head with the metal pipe which they told him was a gun.

When the victim decided to stop struggling with them and took them upstairs to the car keys, Locke told him: "That could have been easier if you'd just given us the key mate".

Judge Nolan previously described the burglary as "deeply reprehensible" and said that the two men had "savagely attacked" the victim.

Locke's accomplice Lee McDonnell (22) of Lough Conn Road, Ballyfermot received a prison term of nine years with two suspended earlier this month.