Although Judge Paul Ramsey QC said there was “no doubt” that Gerard Doyle’s offences deserved a prison sentence, “I cannot ignore the fact that for the last six months, he has been coming to terms with his problems,” has remained offence free and is now focusing on his full time job.
Suspending the sentence for two years, the Newry Crown Court judge warned the 30-year-old to “stay out of trouble.”
At an earlier hearing Doyle, from Cliftonpark Avenue in the north of the city, admitted two counts of burglary of offices at the Royal Victoria Hospital on 26 August last year.
Having forced his way into the consultants’ offices, Doyle stole a rucksack, a Mac book lap top worth £2,500, headphones, glasses worth £1,000, a brief case, phone charger and car keys.
Judge Ramsey said Doyle was “clearly under the influence” at the time as he had been captured on CCTV, striding “bare chested” through the hospital corridors, carrying the stolen bag.
In addition Doyle had left finger prints at the scene and given his 86 previous convictions, police already had his prints on file.
Judge Ramsey said that record was an aggravating feature, as was the fact that Doyle had “targeted a vulnerable institution.”
Lodging a plea in mitigation, defence counsel Barry Gibson highlighted that since he was freed from prison six months ago, Doyle has been undergoing a drug treatment program, is under licence conditions until June next year and realising that “there’s a requirement for him to be kept busy to distract him substance misuse,” he now works full time as a kitchen porter.
Sentencing Doyle, Judge Ramsey told him he “should be grateful to Mr Gibson for the very eloquent plea and the positive pre-sentence report.”