A MAN who ran across a busy motorway in an attempt to evade gardai following a burglary offence, was sentence to nine months’ imprisonment.
At Limerick Court, Thomas Manning, aged 30, who has an address at Black Road, Newport, County Tipperary admitted breaking into a house at Ashford, Crecora on March 23, last.
Sergeant Michelle Bugler said the defendant was one of two men who entered the house, which was not occupied, at around 1pm.
However, the court was told the owner of the house returned home while the culprits were inside.
He contacted a neighbour and raised the alarm.
After being disturbed, Mr Manning and his accomplice fled on foot from the house and ran across the M20 near Lemonfield, Crecora in an attempt to avoid being caught.
Sgt Bugler said gardai responded “within minutes” and she told the court both men were apprehended on an embankment at the side of the motorway.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly praised the response of the gardai and he commented that the efforts of the culprits to escape had put the lives of motorists at risk.
“They could have destroyed their own lives as well as the lives of the occupants of cars which use the motorway,” he said.
Solicitor John Herbert agreed saying his client had made a “foolhardy attempt at escape”.
He said Mr Manning, who has 32 previous criminal convictions, is addicted to various substances and that he had broken into the house in an effort to raise money to fund his addiction.
“It was driven by his desire to get money for drugs,” he said adding that house was an old house, which was “unkempt”.
In mitigation, Mr Herbert said his client had not set out to break into the house describing the incident as opportunistic offence.
“He knocked at the door first and when there was no answer he went in,” he said.
Before imposing sentence, Judge O’Kelly noted that Mr Manning received a nine month prison sentence on September 1, last in relation to separate offences and he commented that he “can’t have been out very long” if he served all of the sentence.
He sentenced Mr Manning to nine months in prison back-dating it to March 24, last.