'idle hands' | 

Ballyfermot burglar caught red handed after gardai followed sound of alarm avoids jail

Gardai followed the noise until they reached a medical centre and found O’Flaherty inside filling his pockets

Stock photo© Getty Images

Fiona FergusonSunday World

A burglar who was caught after gardai investigating his first break-in followed the sound of an alarm to the nearby medical centre he was raiding has been given a suspended sentence.

Conor O’Flaherty (25) of Spiddal Park, Ballyfermot, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two burglaries in Chapelizod on July 17, 2022 - one at a private home and one at a medical centre. He has two previous convictions.

The prosecuting garda told Diarmuid Collins BL, prosecuting, that homeowners were woken at 4am by the sound of glass breaking and went downstairs to find their kitchen window broken. They saw a man outside holding car keys taken from inside. They shouted at him and he dropped the keys.

As gardai attended at the scene shortly afterwards, they heard an alarm sounding in the distance and drove in the direction of the noise until they reached a medical centre. O’Flaherty was inside filling his pockets with medical supplies.

He was arrested and linked to the earlier burglary by DNA from blood at the scene. He apologised and told gardai he would pay for the broken window.

Oisin Clarke BL, defending, said O’Flaherty had started taking tablets two years ago after the death of his grandfather. He said he had little memory of what happened and is remorseful. He has been in custody since he missed a court date and was arrested on a bench warrant.

Counsel said his client has a work record with a job available to him and has shown he can be a productive member of society. He said O’Flaherty does not use tablets while he is working and said this was a case of “the devil makes work for idle hands.”

He asked the court to take into account his client's full admissions, remorse and be as lenient as possible.

Sentencing O'Flaherty ton Tuesday, Judge Martin Nolan said he had considered jailing him and it was a “close run thing”, However, he said O'Flaherty had good mitigation in his favour, including a good work record.

He handed down a sentence of two and a half years and suspended it in full on a number of conditions.

Today's Headlines

More Courts

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos