feeding drug habit | 

Son burgled his elderly mother's house to get her ATM cards using them to take out €1,200

Patrick Masterson

Andrew Phelan

A SON who knew his elderly mother's PIN burgled her home and stole her bank cards, using them to take €1,200 from her account.

Patrick Masterson (46) was in the "depths" of a crack and heroin addiction and carried out the thefts to fund his habit, a court heard.

Judge Bryan Smyth told him would have to pay back compensation in full to his mother "at a minimum" to avoid jail.

Masterson, a father-of-three from St Michan's Flats, Greek Street, Dublin 7, pleaded guilty to burgling his mother's home and theft from her bank account, taking a total of €1,470 in cash and property.

Dublin District Court heard the incidents happened on January 14 last year.

The victim reported to gardaí that items had been taken when entry was gained to her home at North Strand Road. These included a wallet containing €250 in cash and two bank cards.

Two transactions were carried out using the cards at an ATM at New Cabra Road that day, with €600 taken from her account on each occasion.

The victim said her son knew the pin codes for her bank cards and he became the main suspect. He was identified on CCTV from the ATM.

The accused was in the "depths of addiction" to crack cocaine and heroin at the time of the thefts, his solicitor Roy O'Neill said.

He was now totally clean. He was a fully qualified plumber who had worked for most of his adult life.

"They are very, very tough facts to hear," Mr O'Neill said of the evidence.

"They boil down to the fact that Mr Masterson had an addiction and a significant one at this period of time."

Judge Smyth said that "hardly excuses it".

The accused accepted it was an aggravating factor that his mother was involved and all he could do was apologise.

As well as telling Masterson to pay compensation, the judge ordered a probation report and adjourned the case to March.

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