Limerick man jailed for burglary at woman’s home

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Limerick Courthouse
A SOUTHILL man who struck a woman with a garden clippers during a burglary at her home was sentenced to three years imprisonment.

A SOUTHILL man who struck a woman with a garden clippers during a burglary at her home was sentenced to three years imprisonment.

Leon McNamara, aged 22, of O’Malley Park pleaded guilty to committing aggravated burglary at the woman’s home at Willmount Estate, Janesboro on April 9, 2012.

During a sentencing hearing, Detective Garda Paul Crowley, Roxboro, said the defendant and another man climbed a side gate at the house at around 11.20pm.

He said the injured party, who is aged in her early 30’s, was alerted and confronted McNamara as he tried to enter the house through a side door.

The defendant then threatened the woman saying he would “bust your f****ing face in” before striking her in the thigh with the garden clippers.

“She showed considerable fortitude,” said Det Garda Crowley who said the defendant then fled the house along with the second culprit.

He added that the intentions of the defendant were not known as he was confronted by the woman before he entered the house.

Judge Carroll Moran was told McNamara, who has a large number of previous convictions, denied any involvement when he was arrested a number of months later.

He was re-arrested in September of last year after his DNA was matched to samples taken from a cap which was found near the side gate of the house. “The DNA was of overwhelming significance in the case,” said John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting.

In mitigation, Michael Collins BL said his client had entered an early plea and had “taken responsibility for his actions” by doing so.

He added that McNamara had a history of drug abuse and psychiatric problems.

Imposing sentence, Judge Moran said the incident was very distressing for the woman, who lives with her mother and he said he wanted to commend her for bravery and “the way she held her ground”.

He said McNamara’s guilty plea was significant but he commented that it was “about the only mitigating factor in the case”.

He said the defendant has a “dreadful record” and he noted that he has 24 previous convictions for burglary offences.

Imposing a five year prison sentence, the judge said his actions had to stop.

He suspended the final two years of the sentence for five years on condition the defendant stays out of trouble when released.