Cousins jailed after pursuit by Emergency Response Unit
Two cousins who were pursued by the Emergency Response Unit following a burglary in Louth and an attempted burglary in Meath have been jailed.
The pair fled in a car containing a range of housebreaking tools and one of them was caught wearing a balaclava and gloves, as well as shoes taken in the burglary earlier that day.
Edward Wall (43) of Fortunestown Crescent, Tallaght, Dublin and Patrick Wall (36) of Bawnleigh Avenue, Tallaght pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary of a house at The Park, Highlands, Drogheda, Co Louth on October 31, 2014.
They also also pleaded guilty to attempted burglary of a house at Gainstown, Co Meath on the same date.
Edward Wall has 34 previous convictions for offences including burglary and handling stolen property. Patrick Wall has 17 previous convictions including burglary, aggravated burglary and handling stolen property.
Judge Leonie Reynolds imposed four year sentences on both men and suspended the final year. She ordered €500 from each man be paid over to the victim of the burglary.
Detective Garda Mary Moore told James Dwyer BL, prosecuting, that gardai had put a surveillance operation in place after receiving information about the location of a silver Mazda suspected of being used in a earlier burglary. They became aware that the registration plates had been changed during the day.
She said that at 8.20pm the Emergency Response Unit was detailed to intercept the car which had been observed on the Balbriggan road travelling towards Dublin. The car was signalled to stop but failed to do so and collided with garda vehicles in an attempt to escape.
The driver, Edward Wall, jumped out of the car and was pursued by gardai before being arrested. Patrick Wall and a second man were taken from the rear of the car by an armed garda.
The car boot contained a range of “house breaking” tools including pliers and screwdrivers. A log splitter – a type of hatchet with a long handle – and a petrol can and siphon tube were also recovered.
Patrick Ward was wearing a balaclava and gloves, as well as a pair of Lacoste shoes taken earlier that day in a burglary in Drogheda.
Gardai also found a sock containing jewellery taken in the Drogheda burglary. The house had been “ransacked” while the owner was away and substantial damage totalling €4,600 had been caused.
The court heard that these costs are the subject of an ongoing insurance claim while all the jewellery taken was recovered apart from a €349 Armani watch.
Sometime after the Drogheda burglary a homeowner in Gainstown in Co. Meath observed a car driving slowly past her house and then saw three men in her garden heading towards her side gate. She heard a bang and screamed, thinking it was a gunshot and her husband may have been injured.
Her husband, who was in a different part of the house, heard the bang and called gardai.
A neighbour heard shouting and went outside where he heard a car “rev up” and take off fast. As the car came around the bend towards him, he hit out at it with a metal bar in an attempt to stop it.
Gda Moore said damage consistent with this was found on the vehicle later stopped by gardai.
Gda Moore agreed with Pieter Le Vert BL, defending Edward, that the burglars response when confronted in the Meath offence was to flee and they did not confront the neighbour who hit their car.
Mr Le Vert said Edward, who suffers with depression, had fallen into a spiral of alcohol and cocaine abuse following a number of family tragedies. He had repeatedly relapsed and was abusing drink and drugs at the time of these offences.
He said Edward, a married father of eight, had been given an ultimatum by his wife and he was now drink and drug free. He also assisted his mother with looking after his father who was in poor health.
Mr Le Vert said Edward had reached a point in his life where he had made a decision not to be involved in crime again and was offering €3,000 as a token of remorse.
Barry Ward BL, defending Patrick, said his client had a difficult upbringing which included his father abandoning the family before he was born and the death of his brother. He was struggling with depression and alcohol abuse but was not drunk at the time of the offence.
He said the married father of five was in a stable relationship and was a “hands on” father. He said a custodial sentence would cause great difficulty. He brought €3,000 as a token of remorse.
By Fiona Ferguson