No jail for man who robbed €25,000 of equipment from apartment

No jail for man who robbed €25,000 of equipment from apartment

A 20-year-old man who was part of a group that kicked in the door of an apartment to steal €25,000 worth of photography equipment and personal belongings has avoided jail.

Dale Byrne took a €900 guitar and expensive bicycle.

He left the guitar in a flower bed as he did not want to be seen carrying it but was captured on CCTV in the area a few days later riding the bike.

Byrne of Dolphin House, Rialto, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary at Herberton Street, Rialto on March 17, 2015. He has no previous convictions.

Gardai identified the group of up to six individuals from CCTV as they carried off the stolen items which have never been recovered. The homeowners did not have their stolen belongings insured.

Some days later Byrne was seen by the homeowner riding the bicycle in the area. He was later arrested after being spotted by Garda Kevin Lawless on the street wearing the exact same clothes as he had been during the burglary.

Gda Lawless told Joseph Barnes BL, prosecuting, that major force was used to enter the apartment and a significant amount of specialised equipment was taken, along with two bicycles and the guitar.

He said Byrne had co-operated with gardai on arrest and had not come to further attention.

Luigi Rea BL, defending, said Byrne was unemployed and abusing street drugs at the time.

He said Byrne had moved from Tallaght to Dolphins Barn where he found himself out of his depth. He had met up with others and “misbehaved.” He said Byrne was not aware of the value of the items and could not have carried out this offence alone.

Mr Rea said Byrne was now behaving himself, did not have a drug problem and was unlikely to come before the courts again. He said there were training courses available to him if he was in a position to take them up.

He said Byrne accepted what he did was wrong and that he caused immeasurable loss to the victims.

Judge Martin Nolan imposed a two and a half year sentence which he suspended in full on strict conditions including 18 months probation supervision.