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Raider stuffed haul of gems in socks as family slept

A BURGLAR who walked into a house in the middle of the night and stole the owner's jewellery by stuffing it into socks has been jailed for six months.

Father-of-five Jerry Flynn (23) let himself in while the owners slept after they accidentally left their back door open. The traumatised householders woke to hear him rummaging around downstairs, a court heard.

Flynn was sentenced after a judge said he had done a "dastardly thing". Judge Conal Gibbons said he wanted the message to go out to would-be burglars that they could expect custodial sentences.

Flynn, of Ballyowen Lane, Lucan, pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court to stealing watches, rings and socks at Ashtown Grove, Navan Road, Dublin 7 on November 1 last year.

The court heard the owner heard "a commotion" downstairs in the kitchen at around 12.15am and came down.

Flynn left the scene with the property, which he had taken from the kitchen counter. He was subsequently arrested and had two ladies' watches in his possession, with no excuse for having them. The rings were not recovered.

The court heard the socks he stole from the house were used to hold the rings.

The defendant had no previous convictions of any kind and his guilty plea meant the victims did not have to come to court to give evidence, his solicitor Niall O'Connor said.



Nasty

The accused had no links to the Cabra area and the crime had been a "random" burglary.

He had been addicted to heroin at the time. Flynn was currently out of work and on disability benefit, suffering from scoliosis of the back.

He had got himself clean of heroin and was on a waiting list to get into a treatment centre.

"It is a nasty crime to walk into somebody's house at that hour of the morning," Judge Conal Gibbons said.

"People don't expect their houses to be breached in that manner. If you don't lock up your house you shouldn't expect someone like Mr Flynn to come in and help himself to your socks, watches and jewellery.

"People who wish to commit these offences have to know that if you do so and you are caught and held to account and convicted, there is a liberty issue here.

"I feel it is essential that people understand that if you are going to walk into somebody's house at that hour of the morning, you are in trouble.

"As far as I'm concerned, he did a dastardly thing, he did a thing that was hugely frightening and sinister."

hnews@herald.ie


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