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Secretary in terror as pair tried to cut way in

A TERRIFIED credit union worker had to lock himself into his office next to a panic button as he watched two intruders trying to get inside with a bolt-cutters, a court heard.

The secretary was working on his own when he saw the pair on CCTV as they cut a hole in the security fence before trying to get in a secured window.

Gardai arrived at the scene before the pair were able to get inside the credit union in north Dublin.

One of the intruders, Gary Henry (20), admitted at Dublin District Court to his part in the incident after he was caught at the scene by gardai.

A co-accused youth, Glen Gaffney (19), had a criminal damage charge against him dismissed after his defence argued there was insufficient evidence to identify him as one of the culprits.

Henry, of Beechpark Avenue, Coolock, pleaded guilty to trespass and causing criminal damage at Raheny Credit Union on May 16. The court heard he had been abusing drugs and alcohol since he was 10 years old.

Mr Gaffney, of Westpark, Artane, denied criminal damage and was acquitted.







Noise

The credit union secretary, John Cahill, told the court he was working alone in the general office at around 9.15pm when he heard a noise outside, checked the CCTV camera and saw "two people outside with bolt-cutters".

They were cutting through the outer fence, pulled a section of it out, then came to the edge of the building to the shuttered window where he was working. They then started to cut the steel mesh grille on the window, he said. He went to his office and phoned the monitoring station, which contacted the gardai.

He stayed in his office because there was a panic button attached to his desk. The gardai arrived and Henry was arrested. The cost of the damage was €712.

The court heard he had 114 previous convictions for offences including theft, criminal damage and trespass.

He had a history of alcohol and drug abuse that started when he was 10, and this problem was "pretty much entrenched" by the time he was 16, his lawyer said. His drug use had "compromised his intellect".

"It must have been a terrifying ordeal for Mr Cahill," Judge McNamara said. She adjourned the case against Henry for a probation report.

aphelan@herald.ie


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