Man tried to exchange stolen jar of coins in petrol station next to house he robbed

Man tried to exchange stolen jar of coins in petrol station next to house he robbed

A young burglar who was caught on camera trying to change a stolen jar of coins for notes in a petrol station next door to the house he had just broken into has been given a suspended sentence.

Gerry Wall (22) and an accomplice also stole jewellery worth €4,030 along with the coins valued at €58, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard. None of the property was recovered.

The court heard several rooms in the house had been ransacked and €2,315 of damage was caused.

Wall of The Laurels, Bluebell Avenue, Dublin pleaded guilty to burglary at Hyde Road, Dalkey on September 9, 2014.

The father of one has nine previous convictions including theft and handling stolen property.

Judge Melanie Greally had previously adjourned the case having heard evidence and ordered a probation report for that date.

She said that she had been persuaded to give Wall a further chance to demonstrate his commitment to putting his criminality behind him.

Judge Greally accepted that the report concluded that Wall had had “a turnaround in attitude” and was addressing his offending behaviour.

She heard evidence that there were no further charges pending against him.

She said she was taking into account his admissions and the fact that he was a young man who had recently become a father for the first time.

The judge acknowledged Wall's “real motivation” before she suspended a two and half year sentence on strict conditions.

Garda Kevin Carey told Fiona Murphy BL, prosecuting, that the homeowner returned from work to find his back door window smashed and an open window above the sink. Upstairs he found drawers had been pulled out and several rooms ransacked.

He alerted gardaí who recovered CCTV footage from the service station next door to the house.

The footage showed two men climbing over the fence into the back yard of the house and later coming into the service station and handing over a jar of 50 cent coins to be changed for notes.

Gda Carey showed the CCTV footage to colleagues and within 24 hours Gda Liam Flynn identified the men and said he had spoken to them earlier that day at Bray Courthouse where they had been wearing the same clothes. Wall was later arrested at his home.

Gda Carey agreed with Barry Ward BL, defending, that there had been no confrontation or violence and that the burgled house had been insured.

Mr Ward told Judge Greally that the probation report indicated that there had been “very positive developments” in his client's life.

“He has matured quite a bit, he has become a father and he now has a supportive family,” counsel said.