Ten months in prison for ‘paranoid’ thief

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

A 21-YEAR-OLD man has been sentenced to a total of 10 months in prison after admitting to a series of break-ins in the Southill area, including a burglary in which he stole rings valued at €2600.

A 21-YEAR-OLD man has been sentenced to a total of 10 months in prison after admitting to a series of break-ins in the Southill area, including a burglary in which he stole rings valued at €2600.

The offences were committed shortly after Leon McNamara had been released from prison and of the four houses from which he stole property, only one handbag was recovered, Limerick District Court heard.

McNamara, of O’Malley Park, pleaded guilty to four counts of burglary and theft between March 7 and 22 this year.

Insp Seamus Ruane said that on March 7, McNamara had entered a house at O’Malley Park and stolen a Dell laptop worth €400 and a handbag. On March 12, he had stolen a bag with €70 from a house he entered at Lilac Court, Keyes Park. The bag was recovered without the cash, the inspector said.

On March 22, McNamara had stolen a bag worth €50 and a ring valued at €200 from a house at Lawn Way, Carew Park. A second house on the same estate was targeted on the same date, in which a bag and rings worth €2600 were stolen. In three of the burglaries, McNamara had gained access through unlocked back doors, Insp Ruane told Judge Eugene O’Kelly.

McNamara has numerous theft and burglary offences among his 76 prior convictions and was sentenced to nine months in prison on September 13 last. He was released from prison without having served the full term. Mr Herbert said most of McNamara’s criminality “arises from his abuse of drugs”.

“These burglaries were committed in and around the same time when he was suffering from paranoid delusions and a most acute persecution complex,” the solicitor said.

McNamara’s problems had seen him admitted to the acute psychiatric unit 5B, Mr Herbert added.

Judge O’Kelly said he had to consider the “four different households which have been upset by whatever complex has driven your client into their homes” and the fact there was “no explanation where most of the property has gone” was another aggravating factor.

McNamara was sentenced to four and six months in respect of two thefts, to be served consecutively. Another 10-month sentence was imposed in respect of the two rings stolen from Lawn Way on March 22, which the judge suspended for two years.

“Whether he serves the additional 10 months is up to him,” Judge O’Kelly told Mr Herbert.