Limerick man found ‘hiding’ under a bush

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Thomas Whelan has more than 140 previous convictions
A YOUNG man who was found hiding under a bush in the back garden of a house was sentenced to five months imprisonment after a suspended sentence was activated.

A YOUNG man who was found hiding under a bush in the back garden of a house was sentenced to five months imprisonment after a suspended sentence was activated.

Thomas Whelan, aged 23, of Hyde Road, Ballinacurra Weston had denied trespassing at the house at Cloverhill, Dooradoyle in the early hours of July 28, last.

During the contested hearing, Garda Stephen Leamy said he and a colleague were alerted to a male acting suspiciously at around 4.30am.

He said after observing a man “peering around the corner” of the cul-de-sac, he located the accused after he climbed over a 7-foot wall.

“He was hiding behind a bush near the back wall,” he told Judge Marian O’Leary.

In his evidence, Mr Whelan said denied being in the garden of the house.

The defendant, who has 146 previous convictions, insisted he was out “to get fresh air” when he was arrested as he had a row with his sister earlier in the night

“I always admit to something I did, I always do my punishment, I have always put my hands up,” he said.

However, despite his evidence, Judge O’Leary convicted him saying she had “absolutely no doubt” that he was guilty.

After being informed that Mr Whelan received two suspended sentences in April 2013 for theft offences, the judge said she was activating one of the five month sentences.

However, she ordered it be served concurrently to an eight month sentence which was imposed in January for road traffic offences.

The defendant was fined €300 for the trespassing offence.

Separately, Mr Whelan was sentenced to three months imprisonment and disqualified from driving for six years after he pleaded guilty to a plethora of road traffic offences.

Those offences, which included drug-driving, driving without insurance and driving while disqualified happened on dates in May and June last year at locations in the city.