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Dublin burglar spat in Garda's eye at station following robbery

CourtsBy Sunday World
Thomas Plunkett (44) of Markievicz House in the south inner city pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary
Thomas Plunkett (44) of Markievicz House in the south inner city pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary

A Dublin man who showed gardai how he burgled a credit union but later turned aggressive and spat at an officer's eye has been jailed for three years.

Thomas Plunkett (44) of Markievicz House in the south inner city pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary at St Patrick's Credit Union, Herbert Place, attempted burglary at Merrion Square and assault of Garda Paul Carroll at Pearse Street Garda Station on Easter Monday, April 21, 2014.

He has 64 previous convictions including 18 burglaries, one robbery and three assaults all dealt with at district court level.

Plunkett was caught with a laptop and overhead projector belonging to the credit union a short distance from where he had tried to break into a Merrion Square home.

Garda Barry Moran said Plunkett, who had cuts and blood on his face, neck and hands, initially claimed he didn't know what was in the two bags that he'd been trying to hide.

He then co-operated and showed gardaí the credit union's smashed rear window, but turned aggressive when officers took his phone.

Judge Sarah Berkeley imposed a four year sentence and suspended the final year on strict conditions.

During the sentence hearing Gda Moran said the Merrion Square householder had spotted Plunkett on a roof near her drawing room window and called gardaí after telling him to “clear away”.

Gardaí responded to the call and found Plunkett, who matched the intruder's description, at Mount Street Crescent.

He brought them to the credit union, where he had stolen the €500 laptop, €400 overhead projector and caused €435 damage to the window.

Plunkett refused to switch off his phone on the way to the garda station and became aggressive after it was taken from him.

He had to be carried into the station by the hands and feet and was placed in a cell, where he jumped off the bunk and spat at Gda Carroll.

Gda Moran said Gda Carroll used antibacterial wipes on the area just below his eye. He agreed with Oisin Clarke BL, defending, that Plunkett had been intoxicated at the time.

Mr Clarke submitted that his client offered no excuses for his aggression, but couldn't recall the day as he had taken so many tablets.

Counsel said Plunkett got involved with heroin as a young teenager due to a tragic bereavement and then relapsed when his wife died in 2012.

Mr Clarke submitted that his client had a good work history and used to deliver medication to infirm elderly people for a pharmacy.

By Aoife Nic Ardghail and Fiona Ferguson