Limerick Courthouse, Mulgrave Street
A MEMBER of a Dubllin-based crime gang has been jailed for his role in two burglaries at private homes in Limerick city.
Andrew Cawley, aged 23, of Daletree Place, Ballycullen, Dublin pleaded guilty, earlier this year, to burglary charges relating to break-ins which occurred on separate dates during October 2017.
During a sentencing hearing, Limerick Circuit Court was told a significant quantity of jewellery and other property was stolen from a house at O’Dwyer Villas, Thomondgate on October 6, 2017.
The second burglary occurred at the home of a soldier who lives at Sycamore Avenue, Rathbane on October 17, 2017. While nothing was taken the property was ransacked.
Detective Garda Pat Whelan said both incidents happened in broad daylight while the homes were unoccupied. He told Judge Tom O’Donnell that suspicious vehicles were identified following each incident and that it was subsequently established by gardai that the cars had travelled from Dublin before returning after the break-ins.
CCTV was obtained from the toll plaza at Portlaoise while Cawley was also linked to a second-hand car dealership in the capital.
Imposing sentence, Judge O’Donnell noted the front door of both homes had been “jimmied” and that the modus operandi in each case was identical.
The judge said it was “quite clear” the offences had been pre-meditated and that the defendant had “travelled to Limerick with the intention of targeting dwelling houses”.
He said Cawley was a willing participant with others and that the violation of a person’s home was a significant aggravating factor.
Noting a decision handed down by the Court of Appeal earlier this year, the judge said he had to impose a lengthy custodial sentence.
He imposed a six year prison sentence, suspending the final two years.
Another person remains before the courts in relation to the break-ins.