THREE men have been cleared of having implements for use in the course of a burglary.
David Mansfield (26), Gerard Connors (26) and Stephen Doyle (31) were stopped in a black BMW by gardai who were on anti-burglary patrol in west Dublin.
Gardai found a large tool box in the boot of the car, but defence solicitor Lorraine Stephens successfully argued that Mansfield and Doyle, who were passengers in the car, had no knowledge of what was in the boot.
In relation to Connors, who was driving the car, Ms Stephens said he claimed he had the tools to fix the car which was due to go for its NCT.
Judge David McHugh dismissed the charges, saying he believed it would be unsafe to convict.
The judge praised gardai for the "incredible work" officers do in preventing burglaries, saying the community owes them a debt of gratitude.
However, in this particular case, Judge McHugh said he had a doubt and struck out the charges.
Mansfield, of Kiltalown Road, Tallaght, Connors, of Bearna Park, Sandyford, and Doyle, of Cloonmore Crescent, Tallaght, were found not guilty at Blanchardstown District Court of possession of implements for use in a theft or burglary.
The items alleged were assorted vice grips, screwdrivers, an axe, brush, gloves and other miscellaneous tools in a JCB toolbag.
Garda Thomas Balfe said he stopped a vehicle at Green Isle Road, Clondalkin, at around 2.30pm last September 24.
The officer claimed he asked the men what they were doing in the area, and they gave a couple of different answers.
He searched the vehicle and in the boot he found a tool box with a large number of tools.
Ms Stephens said the car belonged to Connors' girlfriend and he was taking it to the NCT.
He had the tools in case he needed to make repairs to the car.