Threat to kill | 

Dublin man who burgled Wexford undertakers and threatened garda with scissors is jailed

Martin Ward (44) had 21 previous convictions for burglary.

Wexford People

A burglary at a well-known Wexford Town premises was followed by a threat to stab a garda who confronted the culprit.

Wexford Circuit Court dealt with the case against Martin Ward (44) of Townsend Street in Dublin’s inner city.

He came before Judge Martin Nolan after pleading guilty in response to a series of charges arising from a visit to Wexford in May of last year.

He admitted not only burglary but also production of a pair of scissors and threatening to kill or cause serious harm to Garda Stephen Burke.

The court learned how undertaker Sean Kearney returned home to Selskar Street on May 14 in 2021.

He discovered that the door to his house which is at his place of business - was blocked and he became concerned.

Soon afterwards he spotted someone, who turned out to be Ward, coming out of the house.

Kearney alerted his friend Garda Stephen Burke by phone to what was going on.

Burke happened to be in the area but he was off duty and wearing shorts and tee-shirt as he was going for a run at the time.

He intercepted the accused at Trimmer’s Lane, identifying himself as a garda.

Ward’s response was to take a pair of scissors, about six inches long, from his pocket.

He threatened to stab Burke with the scissors before making off again.

He was followed to George’s Street where he was finally detained by two gardaí, these ones in uniform.

He discarded the scissors nearby but they were recovered by Garda Brian Delaney.

The defendant was found to have cash and jewellery which he took from Kearney’s premises on his person.

The value of the jewellery was put at around €1,000 and the cash was a sum of €139 which had been in the bedroom of the house.

It emerged that the accused had 21 previous convictions for burglary.

Counts of trespass, larceny and handling stolen property also showed up on his record.

He was brought to Wexford Circuit Court under prison officer escort as he was already serving a sentence at the Midlands Prison.

He was due for release in 2024.

The judge learned that the defendant was intoxicated on the day of the offences under consideration, and that he had a drug problem.

Though a Dublin address was logged in court papers, his barrister stated that he had been living with a partner in Loughrea.

It was also stated that he had been in care or custody for much of his life from the age of nine.

Ward had no history of work or training, counsel added.

Judge Martin accepted that the burglar did not realise that Stephen Burke was a garda when the two men encountered each other on Trimmer’s Lane.

He was sentenced to a term of 16 months imprisonment, to be served on the expiry of his existing sentence, which was imposed at Limerick Circuit Court.

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