cocaine problem | 

Burglar masqueraded as roofer and took copper cylinder and lead flashing

Blanchardstown District Court


A burglar masquerading as a roofer removed the lead flashing from a property and took a copper cylinder, causing damage to a rear roof and water damage to the floor, a court has heard.

Stephen Cummins (38) had built up a debt due to a cocaine problem, and was looking for ways to make money.

He had been fixing the roof of a neighbouring property when he saw an opportunity to steal the lead.

Cummins was only caught through the “astute observations” of gardaí, said Judge Ciaran Liddy, who praised the prosecuting officer’s diligence.

Judge Liddy ordered Cummins to complete 150 hours’ community service in lieu of 12 months in prison.

The defendant, of Kilshane Road in Finglas, admitted burglary and criminal damage on September 16, 2021.

Garda Shane Guinan told Blanchardstown District Court he was on mobile patrol at Ratoath Drive in Finglas when he came across the defendant, who appeared to be carrying out work on a vacant house.

Gda Guinan said Cummins gave him his name and address, and told him he was fixing a roof at the rear of the property.

The garda contacted the owner of the house, who had not authorised any repair works.

Gda Guinan said Cummins removed the lead flashing, causing €500 damage to the roof. He also stole a copper tank, worth €50, which also caused minor water damage to the floor.

In a separate incident, Cummins admitted theft from Murdock’s Builders Merchants in Finglas on dates in September 2021.

Garda Niall Ring said Cummins posed as a builder and told staff to charge the materials he had taken to a named customer’s account, where he had previously worked.

Cummins took goods worth €900 and on a fourth occasion he left empty-handed after he was challenged by staff.

Gda Ring said Cummins made full admissions, and had since compensated the shop.

Defence solicitor John O’Doherty said Cummins had a cocaine problem and had built up a debt which had got out of control. He was trying to source alternative funds and he saw an opportunity to take the copper.

Mr O’Doherty asked the judge to be lenient, saying Cummins had not come to garda attention since.

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