absconded | 

Major garda alert in place as notorious Dublin burglary gang member on run from jail

Richard Mansfield (27) of Kiltalown Way, Tallaght, was granted temporary compassionate release from prison but failed to return
Richard Mansfield

Richard Mansfield

Ken Foy

A major garda alert is in place for one of the country’s most notorious organised burglary gang members after he absconded from a prison in Northern Ireland.

Richard Mansfield (27) of Kiltalown Way, Tallaght, was granted temporary compassionate release from a prison in the North earlier this month to attend a funeral in Dublin but he failed to return to the jail as ordered on Monday of last week.

Senior sources say that there are “major concerns” that the criminal who also has links to the Rossfield area of Tallaght will be “active” during the Christmas period.

Mansfield and two of his associates who are also from south Dublin had been on remand in prison in Northern Ireland since August when they were charged at Belfast Magistrates Court with burglary, dangerous driving on the A1 dual carriageway, failing to stop for and resisting police.

They allegedly stole €150 in cash from an address in Belfast on Friday, August 27, which later resulted in a dangerous high speed chase with police in which speeds of up to 175km were reached as the three-man gang allegedly fled towards the border with the Republic.

"There was a lengthy and extremely dangerous pursuit, the speed reached 110mph as the vehicle headed south towards the border," a PSNI detective told a previous court hearing.

"It was eventually stopped by police and brought to a halt just outside Newry," he added.

The arrest of the three suspects was considered “highly significant” at the time particularly the detention of Mansfield whose gang had been going after high-end targets in teams of three or four criminals and have focused on lucrative jewellery raids in particular over the past 18 months.

Richard Mansfield has served a number of jail sentences here and the UK and in 2013 was one of four men sentenced for a burglary in the Worle area of North Somerset.

He was given nine months in a young offenders’ institution and an additional six months for two burglaries in Bedminster and Barnstaple in England.

A senior UK police officer remarked at the time: "Everything about the way these men operated marked them out as a professional gang."

In January, 2016, a then 21-year-old Mansfield was jailed for three years at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court after he pleaded guilty to two charges of endangerment, taking a vehicle and dangerous driving at Tallaght Bypass on January 7, 2015.

He admitted to gardaí when arrested that he had been smoking cannabis before he drove the stolen BMW.

Earlier that month, gardai had brought Mansfield before Dublin Circuit Criminal Court when they arrested him on foot of an outstanding warrant.

They told the court that that Mansfield had appeared on RTE's Crimecall as a man who gardaí were looking to arrest.

Mansfield has over 60 previous convictions including for dangerous driving, trespass, having no driving license and no insurance, burglary and possession of drugs.

The 2016 court hearing heard that the criminal had performed a handbrake turn into oncoming rush hour traffic in order to avoid gardaí.

Passing sentence, Judge Melanie Greally said that instead of complying with garda instruction, Mansfield “embarked on a passage of driving which can only be described as absolutely disgraceful and exposed a large number of people, including gardaí to serious injury or death”.

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