Dublin taxi man stole furniture from flat after stepson was locked out

Brendan Byrne
Brendan Byrne

A Dublin taxi driver who stole an assortment of furniture from an apartment after his stepson had been locked out as tenant has received an 18 month suspended sentence.

Brendan Byrne (58) arrived at the address with three others and removed furniture including two televisions, two couches, a washing machine, microwave, mirrors, paintings, tables and light fittings.

Byrne, of Millrace Avenue, Saggart, Co Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dishonestly appropriating household furniture and assorted items at Hazelgrove Court, Tallaght on October 29, 2013.

He has two previous convictions for attempted robbery in 1984 and forgery in 1998.

Garda Ciaran Kilcoyne revealed that the landlord had changed the locks after gardaí raided the premises a few days earlier.

He said the tenancy agreement between the landlord and Byrne's stepson had not yet expired at the time.

Judge Melanie Greally accepted that Byrne had been reckless as to who had owned the furniture when he and the three others, who have all been dealt with in the district court, removed the items.

Gda Kilcoyne told Lorcan Staines BL, prosecuting, that some of the property had been retrieved but that light fittings and small bits of furniture were not recovered.

He said one of the people with Byrne had turned a CCTV camera to face away from the entrance. Byrne later admitted he had pushed the door open.

Gda Kilcoyne agreed with Kieran Kelly BL, defending, that garda colleagues had damaged the door before searching the premises a few days previously.

He further agreed that Byrne was unlikely to come before the courts again.

Mr Kelly submitted that his client had €1,000 in court to hand to the injured party. He said Byrne's two previous convictions might explain why the case had come before the Circuit Court.

Judge Greally said she was impressed by the testimonials handed into court on behalf of Byrne, who provides a taxi service to a nursing home.

She suspended the 18 months for two years and directed that the €1,000 be handed over to Gda Kilcoyne for onwards transmission to the landlord.

By Aoife Nic Ardghail