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Six months jail for thief who 'fished' car keys

A THIEF who "fished" car keys through the letterbox of the owner's home has been jailed for six months.

Christopher Ayiotis (27) was caught driving the stolen car at midnight.

He was wearing latex gloves when he was stopped following the burglary.

Ayiotis was sentenced at Dublin District Court after he admitted driving a stolen vehicle on July 2 last year.

The court heard Ayiotis, of Dingle Road, Cabra, also pleaded guilty to driving without insurance or a licence.

The accused was stopped driving the car in Chapelizod. It had been taken earlier that night in a burglary at Beaumont Woods, in which the keys had been fished through the letterbox of the owner's house.

"He was wearing white latex gloves while driving the vehicle," a garda sergeant said.

The accused was arrested and brought to Blanchardstown Garda Station, where he admitted the offence.

No damage had been done to the car. The court heard the defendant had 42 previous convictions. In November last year, he was sentenced at Dublin Circuit Court to four years and three months in prison for assault causing harm and violent disorder.

The defendant had left school at the age of 16 and worked as an apprentice plumber and electrician. He lost his apprenticeship due to the recession and a "difficulty with alcohol" led to the offence. The defendant was studying for his Leaving Certificate while in Mountjoy.

Ayiotis had not been charged with removing the keys from the premises, his solicitor pointed out. "Did the keys miraculously come out of the letterbox by themselves?" the judge asked.

As well as the prison sentence, Judge Hugh O'Donnell banned him from driving for five years and fined him €1,000.