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Burglar who targeted judge's house jailed for three years


Judge Martin Nolan

Judge Martin Nolan

Judge Martin Nolan

A serial burglar who previously targeted a circuit court judge’s house has been jailed for three years.

Vincent McNally (32) was due to be sentenced by Judge Martin Nolan last March. However his defence counsel told him it may be best for another judge to deal with it.

“Are you saying Mr McNally burgled my house?” the judge asked, adding that he had been burgled twice in the past. Counsel replied that this was the case.

“I’ll send him to a court that’s less prejudiced,” Judge Nolan joked before sending McNally to Judge Patrick McCartan’s court.

Today Judge McCartan imposed an eight year term for three more recent burglaries. The judge suspended the final five years of the sentence for five years on strict conditions. He described McNally as “a serious committed criminal”      

McNally of The Court, St Anne’s Park, Shankill, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to three burglaries in the Shankill area in February 2014. He also admitted possession of gloves with intent to commit burglary in Shankill on April 28, 2014.

He has 54 previous convictions, 24 for burglary, one for robbery, one for aggravated burglary, one for theft and one for handling stolen property.            

“My first reaction was to send you to prison for as long as the law permits me to and at some stage you would get to grow up and realise there is a time to stop,” Judge McCartan said on a previous date before adjourning the matter for a probation report.

He noted from McNally’s record that he was jailed for almost every offence he committed.

The court heard that the homeowners returned to their properties to find their front doors had been forced open and their house had been ransacked.

In the first burglary €5,000 worth of property had been taken including jewellery, watches and a flat screen TV, while in the second raid a laptop, a TV, a DVD, games consoles, controllers, phones and jewellery were taken.

In the final burglary a laptop, an iPad and jewellery was stolen and a neighbour witnessed McNally in the house and leaving it.

This man later provided gardaí with a description of the burglar and went on to point him out in a booklet of photos leading to McNally’s arrest.

Gda Ivor Scully told Lorcan Staines BL, prosecuting that a colleague witnessed McNally putting on a pair of gloves and trying to force open the door of a house in Shankill. McNally didn’t gain entry and he was later arrested on suspicion of attempted burglary.

Colman Fitzgerald SC, defending, said his client was a chronic heroin addict who spent most of his teenager years “in one institution or another”.

He said he has been trying “to break the cycle of criminality with and without great success”.