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Stonemason stole dress in 'bizarre' flat burglary

AN alcoholic stonemason caught stuffing women's clothes into a bag outside an apartment in a "bizarre" burglary has received a four-month suspended sentence.

Desmond Kearney (32) got drunk last Halloween and could not remember why he committed the crime, Dublin District Court heard.

He told gardai that he was passing by and the flat window was smashed when he got there.

However, officers found one shoe in his possession and saw the other one on a stereo in the premises.

Kearney, of Clonard Road, Crumlin, pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary at Rialto Court on October 31 last.

Garda Robert Fitzharris said he saw two windows shattered and broken glass on the ground.

The defendant was at the scene, putting shoes in a bag.

Gardai searched the bag and found items of clothing, including a woman's dress and jacket.

Kearney told gardai he was only passing and the window was "like that when he got there".

The accused had one shoe and when the garda looked into the flat, he saw the other on the speaker of a sound system.



Questioned by Alice Harrison, Garda Fitzharris agreed that the accused appeared to have had drink taken and there was "no coherence to the offence".

The court heard Kearney drank 10 or more large cans of Guinness a day and was extremely drunk at the time.

He "ended up with women's clothes and mismatched shoes" and could not remember the incident at all. Ms Harrison said it had been a disorganised crime with no planning.

Kearney had a serious and long-standing alcohol addiction which had him "where he is today".

"Alcohol is not an excuse; it is a way of explaining how he got himself into such a bizarre situation," Ms Harrison said.

"He has expressed genuine remorse and is embarrassed by the offence.

"This has been a wake-up call to him."

She added that the offence did not "bear the hallmarks of a criminal mind".

He had three previous convictions, including one for theft.

The court heard the defendant had worked as a stonemason, but lost his job in the economic downturn.