Man with 96 convictions has appeal for breaking into house dismissed

CourtsBy Sunday World
gavel 4.jpg
gavel 4.jpg

A man with 96 previous convictions who fell “off the wagon” has had an appeal against sentence for breaking into a woman's house dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

Anthony Foody (37), with an address at Greenhills Estate, Ballina, Co Mayo had pleaded guilty at Castlebar Circuit Criminal Court to criminal damage at a house in Ballina on May 19, 2015.

He was sentenced to three years imprisonment with the final 18 months suspended by Judge Rory McCabe on October 29, 2015.

Foody had an appeal against sentence dismissed today/yesterday(THURSDAY) with the Court of Appeal holding that the term imposed was within the Circuit Court judge's discretion.

Counsel for the Director of Public Prosecution, Patrick Reynolds BL, told the three-judge court that this was “a burglary”. Summary disposal was directed by the DPP but a District Court judge refused jurisdiction.

A second count of criminal damage was added to the indictment in the Circuit Court and the DPP decided not to proceed on the burglary count on the basis that Foody pleaded guilty to criminal damage.

Mr Reynolds said Foody had broken the front door to the woman's house and was at that point a trespasser with an intent to commit an offence.

During counsel's submissions on Foody's history of alcohol use, Mr Justice John Edwards remarked that Foody had “fallen off the wagon” not once but twice by the time he committed the present offence.

His barrister, Eoin Gerard Garavan BL, said Foody had not taken alcohol since the offence - a period of more than 12 months.

Giving judgement, Mr Justice Alan Mahon said three years with the final 18 months suspended was not a lenient sentence.

It was a sentence the judge was entitled to impose having regard to Foody's very bad prior record of offending and the extent to which the prospects of rehabilitation did not appear to be positive.

The suspended sentence was clearly designed as an incentive for him to stay out of trouble, he said.

Mr Justice Mahon, who sat with Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and Mr Justice John Edwards, said the court was unable to identify an error in principle and in those circumstances the appeal was dismissed.

By Ruaidhrí Giblin