Duo who broke into County Sligo house at 2.20am are jailed
• 11h ago
Two men who pleaded guilty to charges of burglary and criminal damage have been sentenced to over two years each in jail, at the circuit court.
Keith Brady (31) of Coradoo Cottages, Ballinafad and Michael Clarke (27) of the same address admitted the offences that took place on September 23 last year.
Brady was jailed for three years and forty two weeks with the final year suspended for 18 months.
And Clarke was jailed for three years and eight months with the final 16 months suspended for 18 months by Judge Sinead Ní Chúlacháin.
The court heard that the pair caused criminal damage to a total value of €3,403 at the home of the injured parties which included damage to two windows.
In passing sentence Judge Ní Chúlacháin said both defendants broke into the home of John and Ann Marie Healy at 2.20am. There were five occupants in the house who were all asleep.
Keith Brady jumped out a window when the woman of the house woke up and her husband went out and got the jeep and followed the pair for 100 metres down the road.
The pair jumped into a ditch and then approached the jeep in an aggressive manner.
They went in to another Coradoo Cottage where they were later apprehended by gardai.
In sentencing, the Judge said the aggravating factors were that this was a burglary of a house at 2.20 am at a time when five people were sleeping.
The defendants also brought a screwdriver to gain entry and that showed a degree of pre planning and they were aggressive towards Mr Healy in his jeep.
Both defendants also had a large number of previous convictions.
The judge said she was also taking into account the effect on the injured parties.
A Victim Impact statement from the female injured party said it had a very serious effect on her and her family and the feeling of safety in their home was taken away.
She still had fears approaching her kitchen door and the fears had increased.
The family had to instal a CCTV system for what was an invasion of the family’s privacy.
The woman was on sleeping tablets and still had flashbacks from that awful night.
Brady was a single 31-year-old man with no dependents and had tragedy in his background.
He left school at fifteen and spent a lot of time in care and had a history of substance abuse. He had 53 previous convictions including four for theft, and two for burglary.
He showed remorse but got limited mitigation as in his Probation Report he denied entering the house and only pleaded guilty as he had “no option.”
He was assessed as being at a high risk of re-offending. The report also urged him to address his substance addiction.
The defendant had been in Cuan Mhuire for the first time last year but went off the rails later that year.
The judge jailed the defendant for three years and 42 weeks with the final year suspended for 18 months.
This was on condition that he be of good behaviour and sober habits, take analysis when asked, co-operate with the Probation service and drug addiction teams and also with a victim empathy group.
The judge said that Clarke was a single man and like co-accused Brady made an early guilty plea.
He had a shocking previous record with a total of 108 previous convictions including 14 for theft and seven for criminal damage.
He had shown remorse but blamed Brady for the offence and did not take any responsibility for his actions.
He was assessed as being at a very high risk of re-offending.
He had an extensive criminal record and needed to address his substance addiction. He had been engaged in addiction counselling.
The judge jailed him for three years and eight months with the final sixteen months suspended for 18 months on identical conditions to the previous defendant.
The defendants were represented by Mr Colm Smyth SC and Eoin McGovern BL, instructed by McGovern Walsh, Solicitors.