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20-month sentence Serial burglar who tried to pull doors off gym changing room lockers is jailed

Repeat offender Zachary Purcell (32) admitted the latest 28 charges against him. Purcell had 124 previous convictions, including 15 for burglary.

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Photo: Stock image

Photo: Stock image

Photo: Stock image

A serial burglar who tried to rip the doors off lockers in a gym changing room has been jailed.

Repeat offender Zachary Purcell (32) was given a 20-month sentence when he admitted the latest 28 charges against him.

Purcell, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court to burglary, theft, criminal damage and other offences.

The court heard the accused and another man went to Westwood Gym, Aston Quay last June 27.

They went into the reception area and the other man distracted staff while Purcell pushed past, went into a dressing room and attempted to rip off locker doors.

They fled when challenged and the accused was later identified on CCTV.

A manager had given a victim impact statement, Garda Sergeant Tony Flanagan told Judge John King.

On July 1, Purcell went to the lobby of apartments on North Cumberland Street, Dublin 1 and began opening post belonging to residents.

He was again identified on CCTV.

He admitted multiple bicycle thefts and car break-ins around the city centre in 2020 and this year.

In one, he was seen smashing the window of a parked car with a fire extinguisher.

In an incident on July 5, he took a bike from an underground car park at George's Quay apartments. The front wheel was locked so he took a wheel from another bike and fitted it onto the stolen one.

He dropped a steak knife as he ran from gardaí who saw him acting suspiciously at Thomas Court Bawn on March 29 last year.

Purcell had 124 previous convictions, including 15 for burglary.

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He told the court when he was released from an earlier prison sentence, there was a "mistake" with a plan for rehab, he instead went to a hostel "ravaged by drugs" and "the inevitable happened, I relapsed".

"I was let down by a lot of services," he said.

The court heard an earlier relapse was triggered by a traumatic family incident in which the accused's young child was fallen on by a fatally-stabbed relative, covering the child in "a tremendous amount of blood".

Purcell's offending was to feed his drug addiction, his solicitor John Quinn said.

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