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26 Sept 2022

Burglaries committed ‘in the throes of drug addiction’

Burglaries committed ‘in the throes of drug addiction’

A defendant who “went down hill in a short period of time” will not have his prison time extended following his District Court hearing. Daryl Keena (26) of 11 Tower Heights, Ballinacarrigy is serving a three and a half year custodial sentence handed down by Mullingar Circuit Court.


The defendant came before Judge Bernedette Owens looking to have a number of District Court matters finalised. Mr Keena entered guilty pleas to two theft charges, a trespass charge and a charge of possessing a knife.


Sergeant Kevin O'Brien outlined the details of the offences. On January 8, 2020 the defendant entered a vacant private premises at Ballysallagh, Ballinacarrigy, by smashing a window. Although nothing was stolen, the damage to the property cost €200 to repair.


On May 20, 2020 the defendant committee a burglary at Halligans in Ballinacarrigy. Cigarettes worth €3,400 were taken from the shop. Gardaí went to Keena's house and spoke to him. The defendant had blood on his hands and clothes. The officers found the cigarettes in a kennel in the back yard. Mr Keena made a full admission.


The same night he also entered a private residence by smashing a kitchen window and took €25 in coins from a sports bag. Judge Owens was told Mr Keena had 12 previous, primarily for drugs and public order offences.


Counsel for the defendant, Andrea Callan BL, said her client has a relatively short record. Ms Callan said he had “gone down hill in short period of time” and resorted to burglary to feed a drug habit.
“At the time he was in the throes of drug addiction and drug debt,” the barrister told. Ms Callan said Mr Keena had rehabilitated, but relapsed. “It somewhat got away from him,” she said of his efforts to stay clean, “He is still trying to get himself straight.”


The court was told that all the goods recovered and Ms Callan ask the judge not to extend her client's time in custody.


Noting the facts of the case and the defendant's early plea Judge Owens said: “Mr Keena's admission in interview were helpful, but there were two private residences, this is a considerable invasions. I note that he has a six months suspend portion of his Circuit Court prison term, so he has a a lot of skin in the game now.”


She imposed a five month term for each of the charges, directing that they be served concurrent to his sentence.

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