Limerick Courthouse, Mulgrave Street
A YOUNG man has been jailed for five-and-a half years for his role in a crime spree during which several buildings were entered and a number of cars were stolen.
Jack Finucane, aged 23, who has an address at O’Malley Park, Southill, Limerick had pleaded guilty to a number of charges relating to offences which occurred on August 21, 2020.
During a sentencing hearing, Garda John Sheehan told Limerick Circuit Court the first incident happened at around 4am when the occupants of a house in the Mulgrave Street area of the city were alerted to intruders at their home.
He said Mr Finucane and another man had gained entry by smashing a downstairs window and that both left the family home when they were confronted.
However, they stole a car which was parked outside and a woman, who lives at the house, was struck by the car as it was being driven away.
The vehicle, worth around €30,000, was later located after it was crashed into a lamppost.
The woman was treated at University Hospital Limerick and almost €20,000 worth of damage was caused at the house and an outside gate.
During the hearing, before Easter, the court heard the second incident occurred around an hour later – at 5am – when Monaleen Stores was broken into via the roof.
While the culprits were no longer in the premises when gardai arrived, they remained in the general area for some time.
Another car was stolen from outside a house in Annacotty at around 7am after the keys were taken from inside the property shortly after one of the occupants returned home from an early-morning gym session.
This vehicle was observed – being driven erratically – at Ballysimon a short time later and Mr Finucane was apprehended after the car was located by gardai crashed in a field.
Imposing sentence, Judge Tom O’Donnell noted the defendant is “well known as a chronic drug user” and that he could not be questioned for a number of hours after his arrest as he was intoxicated.
He said his 14 previous previous convictions were an aggravating factor as was the fact that he has just completed a lengthy prison sentence when he committed the offences last summer.
He said the incident at Mulgrave Street was “very serious” and that he was concerned that a family home had been entered and violence used.
While accepting that Mr Finucane made admissions and had pleaded guilty, the judge commented that he still has a “high level of culpability”.
He said what happened was extremely frightening for all of the victims and, making reference to a victim impact statement, he said it was clear it has “rattled” the occupants of the first home which was entered.
Judge O’Donnell said he was of the view the offences were in the mid-range of the scale and that there had to be a lengthy prison sentence in the circumstances.
Mr Finucane was sentenced to a total of five and-a-half years’ imprisonment.
A ten-year driving ban was also imposed.