Limerick serial offender told by judge he needs help to face challenges

David Hurley


David Hurley

Michael Cawley was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment with the final 18 months suspended

Michael Cawley was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment with the final 18 months suspended

A SERIAL offender who attempted to rob the night porter of a Limerick city hotel having unlawfully entered the premises, has been jailed for two and-a-half years.

Sentencing Michael Cawley, Judge Tom O’Donnell warned him he will not be able to deal with the challenges he faces unless the receives help.

The 25-year-old who has an address at Whitecross Gardens, Moyross had pleaded guilty to charges of burglary and attempted robbery relating to an incident at the Pier Hotel, Sarsfield Street on September 22, 2017.

Garda Barry O’Farrell told Limerick Circuit Court gardai were alerted at around 7am after the night porter ran from the premises and flagged down a passing patrol car.

It was later established that Cawley, who has a large number of previous convictions, had entered the hotel with his girlfriend a short time earlier.

Both, he said, were seen on CCTV “wandering around” the lobby area and when asked to leave they attempted to rob a mobile phone from the night porter.

Garda O’Farrell said the defendant, who has been released from prison less than a month earlier, was so intoxicated when arrested he could not be interviewed. 

He subsequently claimed he had gone to the hotel to get “milk and a bit of food” for his children.

Brian McInerney BL said his client’s recollection of events was “somewhat patchy” and he urged to court to note his admissions and guilty plea. He  said the 25-year-old has addiction problems and that he also has a difficulty with alcohol.

“His behaviour was bizarre and unacceptable, his recollection is hazy but there was never any question of a trial,” he added pointing out that his client has been in custody since his arrest.

He said Cawley has made efforts in prison to address his addictions and he submitted the offence was at the lower end of the scale.

Judge Tom O’Donnell noted the defendant has received a number of lengthy prison sentences in the past but continues to get into trouble when released.

“It is quite clear this young man has many challenges to face,” he said.

He said Cawley’s admissions and guilty plea were mitigating factors and he noted he has  been engaging with various services while in custody.

The judge imposed a four year prison sentence, suspending the final 18 months.

Cawley to remain under the care and supervision of the Probation Service following his release from prison.