A YOUNG man who admitted committing burglary offences at the homes of two elderly women was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment.
Jonathen McCarthy, aged 23, of Quarry Road, Thomondgate admitted calling to a house at Clanmaurice Avenue, Ennis Road on May 28, last claiming he was an auctioneer.
Sergeant Donal Cronin told Limerick District Court the 82-year-old woman, who lives alone at the house, was “very very distressed” as a result of the incident.
He said McCarthy, who was with another man, left the area when the woman called the gardai but was arrested a short time later following an “informal identification parade”.
The second offence happened two weeks earlier - on May 16 - when the defendant broke into the home of a 76-year-old woman, who lives at Dooradoyle Road.
The woman was not present at the time and the culprits fled when the intruder alarm was activated.
Sgt Cronin said €100 worth of damage was caused to a rear door of the house but that compensation has been paid by the defendant.
Solicitor John Herbert said his client, who has 12 previous convictions, suffers from addiction problems and that his actions were motivated by his need to fund his habit, which has “spiralled out of control”.
In relation to the incident at Clanmaurice Avenue, he said McCarthy, who is also known as Jonathen Collins, had not attempted to force his way into the house and that he did not use any physical force.
“He deeply regrets what happened,” he said.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly was told the defendant - a married father of two - suffers from depression, is on medication and is engaging with the Psychiatric Services.
Imposing prison sentences totalling 20 months, the judge said it appeared the defendant was targeting elderly ladies. “I have to have regard for the upset, distress and trauma he has caused,” he commented.
Leave to appeal the severity of the sentence was granted.