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Hatchet wielding thug jailed for aggravated burglary on woman with young child

St Johns Street
St Johns Street

A man has been jailed for five and a half years for stealing two mobile phones and a laptop while armed with a hatchet during an aggravated burglary.

Dean Fagan (26) of Fairway Drive, Rosslare Strand, Wexford pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to aggravated burglary at John Street., Enniscorthy on January 4, 2014. He is currently serving a six-year sentence for a separate aggravated burglary.

Sinead Gleeson BL, prosecuting, said the victim was at home with her five-year-old son when two men broke into her home at around 11.30 at night in January 2014.

Ms Gleeson said the raiders, who were armed with a knife and a hatchet and had their faces covered, demanded money and jewellery from the victim.

She said that when the woman told the men she did not have money or jewellery in the house, they threatened to hurt her.

Ms Gleeson said the men took two mobile phones and a laptop before leaving. She said the victim ran to a neighbour’s house with her son and called the gardai.

Gardai later searched Fagan’s former address in Rosslare and found both mobile phones there, the court was told.

Barrister Michael Bowman, SC, defending, said Fagan took the hatchet from a shed next door to the house he broke in to. He said Fagan took it to break the window and gain entry to the house rather than use it as a weapon.

He also said that Fagan thought the house was empty when he broke in and there was no violence.

Mr Bowman also said there was no forensic evidence linking Fagan to the crime and his admissions to gardai formed a large part of the evidence against him.

The court heard Fagan had a difficult upbringing and was diagnosed with medical conditions later in life.

Mr Bowman said Fagan never knew his father and was sent to live with his maternal grandparents at the age of four after his mother gave birth to a child with spina bifida.

He said Fagan was admitted to St John of God’s Hospital at age 15 where he was diagnosed with ADHD and also put on anti-psychotic medicine. He also said Fagan was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2007.

Handing down the sentence, Judge Martin Nolan said he must impose a long custodial sentence as aggravated burglary was a “very serious matter”.

He noted Fagan’s “sad and difficult history” but said Fagan’s problems were “not just his problems because they are problems for society at large”.

He said that while there was no actual violence, the two men were armed with a knife and a hatchet and seemed to know what they were looking for.

Judge Nolan said Fagan should have left when he realised the house was occupied and should not have threatened the victim as such incidents could have “long-lasting effects”.

Judge Nolan also said Fagan was a reasonably young man who he hoped would reform while in prison.