Garda finds man (48) asleep against wall with items of stolen jewellery

By Brion Hoban

A man, who was discovered by a garda asleep and slumped against a wall in possession of stolen jewellery, has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

John Maher (48), of Mourne Road, Drimnagh, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary at Keeper Road, Drimnagh, on October 19, 2017. He also pleaded guilty to burglary at Crumlin Road, Crumlin on October 18, 2018.

Criminal Courts of Justice 1

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Judge Melanie Greally sentenced Maher to three-and-a-half year’s imprisonment but suspended the final 12 months of the sentence on strict conditions.

Garda Caroline Kelly told Aideen Collard BL, prosecuting, that in October of 2018 she was on patrol when she found the accused asleep and slumped against a wall.

Garda Kelly said she attempted to wake him and a number of items of jewellery fell out of his clothes. Maher was intoxicated and claimed he had found them in a skip.

The items included six silver and gold cuff links, a silver lighter, a bag of Indian and Mexican coins and the ID of the person who owned the items. The estimated value of the items was €2,500 and all stolen items were returned.

Garda Keith O’Brien told Ms Collard that on the date in 2017, the occupant of a house on Keeper Road, Drimnagh, returned home to find a back window smashed and the house ransacked. Electronic items with an estimated total value of €1,200 were stolen and never recovered.

Garda O’Brien said there were blood-stains found on the wall of the house. DNA samples were taken from the blood that matched Maher and he was arrested.

Maher said he had no memory of either burglary.

He has 42 previous convictions, including convictions for aggravated burglary, burglary and criminal damage.

The court heard that Maher had a serious addiction to heroin, but that he has been on methadone since 2002. He started to abuse tablets in 2010 and began abusing alcohol following the death of his mother in 2014.

Judge Greally said the offences were aggravated by his previous convictions for burglary and the damage to the property in the earlier offence. She said the mitigating factors were his guilty plea, his fairing well in prison and the link between his addiction and his offending.

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