A LIMERICK city man who committed three burglaries in County Limerick has been sentenced to a total of 18 months in prison at Kilmallock District Court.
Christopher O'Donnell, aged 24, of 25 Hartigan Villas Moyross, pleaded guilty to the burglaries – two in Askeaton and one in Hospital.
Mr O'Donnell's solicitor, Turlough Herbert, said there was a "degree of intoxication involved" and his client was going through domestic difficulties.
Det Garda Mike Reidy said at around 11am on Tuesday, October 12 in Bansha, Askeaton, an unoccupied house was broken into.
"The front door was smashed in and a television and a digital camera taken. A witness gave a description and the car took off at speed," said Det Garda Reidy.
Judge Mary O'Halloran asked if the digital camera and television had been recovered from Mr O'Donnell and the answer was no.
And hour later at 12.10pm at a house in Knockainey West, Hospital, Det Garda Reidy said the injured party arrived home and observed a car in their driveway.
"The front window was open and a male jumped out of the window," said Det Garda Reidy. The court heard that this was the defendant and he ran to a car.
A second male holding a laptop came around the side of the house said Det Garda Reidy. The car was stopped an hour later in Limerick city. The laptop was recovered but the defendant fled the scene.
Two days later Det Garda Reidy said Gardai executed a search warrant at Mr O'Donnell's home.
Det Garda Reidy said two necklaces and a pearl bracelet taken from a burglary at Ballyengland, Askeaton on May 18 were found "He made a full admission to the matters," said Det Garda Reidy, who added that Mr O'Donnell had a total of 66 previous convictions.
The court heard that Mr O'Donnell had been released from prison the week before he committed the two robberies on October 12 – just a few weeks into an eight month sentence. Judge Mary O'Halloran asked "what is he doing out?" Mr Herbert said the eight months sentence referred to a matter that is being appealed.
Det Garda Reidy agreed that Mr O'Donnell co-operated fully and made admissions which he agreed with.
Mr Herbert said there was an accomplice and Det Garda Reidy said that man will be before the courts on another date.
The solicitor said it to the Det Garda that Mr O'Donnell was going through domestic difficulties and has kept out of trouble in recent times. Det Garda Reidy said "yes".
"Mr O'Donnell is a 23 year-old married man and hopefully his marital situation has stabilised. He is a father of two young children with another on the way. He lives up to his responsibility as a father and I've spoken to his wife in that regard," said Mr Herbert, who appealed to Judge Mary O'Halloran to consider the possible engagement of the probation service.
"He has been in prison and was never afforded the opportunity of the probation service. He is remorseful and apologises to the victims and the gardai. He did not spend last Christmas with his children and is facing the possibility of not spending this Christmas,” said Mr Herbert, who asked for leniency.
Judge O’Halloran handed down a six month sentence on each of the three burglary charges to be served consecutively.
Recognisances were fixed in the event of an appeal