A man charged with burglary and robbery has been sentenced to 15 months in prison following last week’s sitting of Longford District Court.
Charles Reilly, 37 McKeon Park, Longford, pleaded guilty to all charges, telling the court he just wanted to do his time and then leave Longford so he can get on with his life.
Mr Reilly was one of two co-accused who entered a house in the early hours of May 7, 2021, and stole a quantity of cash and a number of phones.
His co-accused, a teen who does not turn 18 until August, was remanded in custody to Oberstown Detention Centre following a special court sitting on May 8.
Last Tuesday, Judge Seamus Hughes heard evidence from Sgt Enda Daly, who explained that Gda Buckley and Gda Leonard had responded to reports of a burglary.
“The accused and another man entered the house at 3am. The occupant was asleep on the couch,” said Sgt Daly.
“They came in through the unlocked back door and one of them kicked the sleeping occupant in the face.
“They made off with €220 in cash and a black Samsung phone. They fled through the back door. Five phones were taken during the burglary.
“Gardaí obtained a search warrant and two of the phones were seized.”
Mr Reilly was also charged with robbery, with Sgt Daly giving evidence that the incident occurred following a court sitting.
“On March 16, 2021 at 12.35pm outside the courthouse on Main Street Longford, the security guard was on the courtroom door,” said Sgt Daly.
“There was a young Romanian national who had been in court that morning. The accused spoke to him and he went walking down the road with him. The security guard tried to tell him not to go with him.
“He had €100 cash stolen from him and he came back and told the security guard.”
The accused was also charged with a section 3 assault on his mother’s partner in the early hours of March 4, 2021.
His mother, who appeared in court last week explained that her son has “caused no problem since”.
“I wouldn’t like to see him go to prison. My partner doesn’t want him to go to jail - we just don’t want him to come near the house,” she said, confirming that Mr Reilly had been complying with a barring order that was put in place by the court after that incident.
Mr Reilly was further charged with driving with no insurance and driving without a licence.
The court heard that the accused has a large number of previous convictions - a total of 78.
“He’s well known to the court,” admitted solicitor John Quinn.
“He’s had substance abuse problems in the past. Heroin was a big problem through the years but he signed up for a treatment plan in custody. He’s hoping he can get rid of all matters, do his time and come out clean.”
“When I get out, I’m leaving this town. I want to rear my kids and get on with my life,” said Mr Reilly.
Judge Hughes, upon hearing the evidence and learning that Mr Reilly was pleading guilty to all charges, told the accused that he would not be backdating his sentence to the date he went into custody but would be handing down each sentence starting from last Tuesday.
“For walking out of this courthouse and robbing a man of €100, which very well may have been his life savings and was an audacious crime to commit in the curtilage of the court house - six months in prison,” he said, adding that “Mr Reilly is a criminal in the truest sense of the word.”
Noting the remarks of Mr Reilly’s mother, Judge Hughes said that the section three assault charge would be taken into consideration but that “he will be in serious trouble if he breaches the barring order”.
Turning to the burglary and assault of the sleeping occupant of the house, Judge Hughes accepted information from Sgt Daly that Mr Reilly’s co-accused was the person who committed the assault.
“I don’t care who committed the assault. By the time they left out the back door, that person was injured and robbed,” said Judge Hughes.
“He’s not charged with aggravated burglary but he could have been. In any event, he was on bail when he committed that charge.
“For entering a home and robbing the occupant, having pleaded and elected, I’m sentencing him to nine months consecutive.”
For driving with no insurance, Mr Reilly was disqualified for six years and given a three month sentence to be served concurrently to his existing sentences.
The section 38 driving without a licence charge was taken into consideration.
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