Tallaght man who committed three failed robberies in one night jailed

CourtsBy Sunday World

A man who committed three failed robberies in south Dublin in one night has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Gavin Fitzhenry (32) of Russell Lane, Tallaght, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to three burglaries in south Dublin in the early hours of June 27, 2014.

Tom Neville BL, defending, said Fitzhenry, who has 42 previous convictions was helping to pay off his brother’s drug debt of €19,000.

Judge Elma Sheahan noted his efforts in prison to become drug-free, his expression of remorse and willingness to enter a residential drug treatment programme after his release. She also noted that he was expecting his first child and positive reports from the Probation Services.

She also noted “the trauma and upset” caused to all the victims, particularly the young children, in the homes at the time and that Fitzhenry continued to carry out two further robberies after the first.

The court previously heard from Garda Vincent Carroll who said the female occupant of the first house was lying awake at 1am when she saw the light come on in her house.

Her bedroom door opened and a man entered the room, apparently unaware that she was lying there. The woman “froze”, the court heard, before the man spotted her and said, “I'm sorry”. She started screaming and he fled the scene.

Shortly afterwards, at 2.45am, a man was listening to music in his house on Kilmacud Road, Dundrum, when his dog growled and he saw a dark silhouette in his dining room.

The man ran at the intruder and pushed him outside the house. The intruder said, “Don't hit me, don't hit me,” before fleeing. The man's wife and three young daughters were asleep upstairs.

At 4.10am, another resident of Kilmacud Road was woken by a banging noise coming from his bathroom.

He looked out the window and saw a man on the roof of his extension, clinging to the window sill. The resident shouted and the intruder jumped off the roof and fled. The man's wife and two sons were asleep in the house at the time.

Fitzhenry was spotted near the scene by gardaí a short time later. He fled and hid in some bushes before he was caught.

In victim impact reports handed in to court, Fitzhenry's victims said they were fearful of their safety and felt vulnerable in the wake of the intrusions.

The children were all light sleepers now, constantly waking their parents and scared when they heard any noise, the court heard.