Court hears man burgled to pay for previous offences
A 35-year-old unemployed fisherman has admitted to the burglary of three buildings in Cahersiveen over a two-day period. The offences - which took place while the man was out on bail - were committed to pay compensation for similar offences, Cahersiveen District Court was told on Thursday.
Gareth Brain, of Cahersiveen, appeared in custody having been remanded from Kenmare District Court on Friday.
Giving details of the allegations, Sergeant Miriam Mulhall Nolan told how Gareth Brain got in through the skylight of a premises at 11 Main Street, Cahersiveen, on February 21 and tried to break into an ESB meter box to get at money. Some €1,150 damage was caused.
She said that on February 22, at around 11 pm, Brain entered the Kerry Coast Hotel at Church Street, Cahersiveen, via a back smoking area and stole a bottle of Captain Morgan's rum, a Donegal GAA jersey and a clock from the function hall. He left through the front door of the building, damaging it, and was identified later on cctv. The total cost of the goods and damages came to €500.
The sergeant also outlined how, some time between 11pm and 8.20am on February 21/22 Brain broke into a Kerry County Council store and took a JCB hydraulic generator, a Hitachi jigsaw,a battery charger and other items with a total value of €7,200. He ran from the scene when observed. Gardai recovered €5,500 of the property but there was a loss still of €1,700.
The court heard that, in October, Mr Brain pleaded guilty to burglary at the Arro Home and Garden Centre at Deelish Bridge, Cahersiveen, on July 10 last when he stole three rolls of fencing wire worth €150. He has also admitted to burglary at Big Saint Brendan's House, Southview Terrace, Waterville, on August 20 and was granted bail to raise compensation of €1,500 for those offences. He had paid some €300 of this into the court, his solicitor Padraig O'Connell said.
Mr O'Connell said his client, "in a brainless act," had gone out over the course of February 21 and 22 to thieve to pay the compensation for the previous burglaries.
Brain, who had made full admissions, opted to have the matters dealt with at the District Court and he entered guilty pleas to all three charges.
However, Judge James O'Connor said he may still send Mr Brain forward to the Circuit Court and he remanded him on continuing custody to be brought before Killorglin District Court in a week's time.
Mr O'Connell also said his client was a married man with a young child and another child on the way.
"He has suffered from emotional and mental difficulties," the solicitor said, adding that his client's calls for help had gone unanswered.
He said Mr Brain would agree to being remanded in custody by consent.
Judge O'Connor said the charges were "serious" given the defendant's previous history and warned that he would have to come up with a plan for compensation.
However Mr O'Connell said his client was of no means and he felt that, even though Mr Brain might have the best of intentions, he would not be able to come up with the compensation.