independent

Sunday 18 August 2019

Prisoner must do extra four months

GUILTY OF ST PETER'S SQUARE BURGLARY

A 21-YEAR- OLD MAN who is already in jail has been handed a further four- year sentence for his part in the robbery of a house at St Peter's Square in Wexford.

Darren Byrne, with an address at 63 The Faythe, pleaded guilty to taking an iPod and mobile phone worth € 200 for from the home of Mr Dermot Rooney on January 21 last year.

Garda Barry Doyle told the court that Mr Rooney called to the Garda Station at about 3.30 a. m. on that date, saying four people had entered his home. He was in a shocked and disturbed state at the time, the Garda said.

Garda Doyle also said that the investigating gardai had observed a number of individuals in close proximity to the houss. They know one of them as Laura O'Reilly. She had also pleaded guilty some time ago to her part in the robbery, but has still to be sentenced. A bench warrant has already been issued in relation to her.

The defendant Darren Byrne, said Garda Doyle, had come to the attention of Gardai on many previous occasions. He had 41 previous convictions in all.

Defence Counsel, James Peart, told the court that the defendant had a serious drink and drugs problem. There were a number of people involved in this incident. The defendant was not the ring leader but was just ' pulled into it,' he said.

He further stated that Byrne said during Garda interview that he didn't know there was somebody in the house at the time, as he had believed it was an abandoned house. While the defendant had an address in The Faythe, he came originallyf rom Bray.

Judge Hickson noted that a Probation and Welfare report suggested the defendant is a high risk of re- offending.

Prosecuting Counsel, Philip Sheahan, infomed the judge that the defendant is currently in custody relating to other matters.

Describing it as a mean offence where the defendant and others had broken into a persons' house, Judge Hickson said, it was obvious that he was fuelled on drink and drugs at the time.

He handed down the four- year sentence, with the final two of those years suspended.

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