Jail term for 'smash and grab' burglar who targeted Limerick businesses

David Hurley

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David Hurley

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david.hurley@limerickleader.ie

Jail term for 'smash and grab' burglar who targeted Limerick businesses

Maurice O'Shea admitted breaking into St Patrick's Church

A DRUG addict who broke into more than a dozen business premises in the city  in order repay a debt has been jailed for two and-a-quarter years.

Maurice O’Shea, aged 26, of Lynwood Park, St Patrick’s Road pleaded guilty to multiple counts of burglary and criminal damage relating to offences which happened on various dates between February 6, 2015 and June 17, 2015.

Limerick Circuit Court was told he targeted a variety of business premises including a dental practice, a hair salon, three pubs, a Chinese restaurant and a number of fast food outlets. St Patrick’s Church was also broken into.

Detective Garda Patrick Hogan said the defendant stole cash floats from a number of the premises he broke into and that he caused significant amounts of damage gaining access to others.

Most of the break-ins, he said, happened late at night while the premises were either closed or unoccupied.

O’Shea was arrested a short time after gardai were alerted to a break in at the Treasury restaurant at O’Connell Avenue in the early hours of June 17, 2015.

While being questioned about the burglary at the restaurant, he made admissions in relation to the other offences.

Judge Tom O’Donnell told O’Shea, who has two previous convictions, fled to the UK after he was charged and that he has been in custody since he presented himself at Henry Street garda station in March of last year after returning to this country.

Imposing sentence the judge commented the premises had been “easy targets” and he said the defendant’s modus operendi was crude and “effectively smash and grab”.

He imposed a three year prison sentence, suspending the final nine months.