BURLGARIES of homes and businesses in Clare have reached “epidemic proportions”, a court has heard.
Judge Patrick Durcan made the comment at Ennis District Court last week as he sentenced a 21-year-old man to 12 months in prison.
Dean Deery with an address at Laurel Lodge, admitted to breaking into Sweets and Treats sweetshop in Turnpike on dates unknown between August 29 and August 30.
Mr Derry was one of two men who entered the premises. Ennis District Court heard that the men smashed the front door and stole two gumball machines.
The property was recovered a short distance from the shop but was un-useable.
Mr Deery also admitted to stealing items from the Tunstar shop on Parnell Street between August 27 and 27 and from 7 Days, Cabey’s Lane, Ennis between September 5 and 6.
The court heard Mr Deery also stole a milkshake from a Londis Filling Station in Ennis.
The court heard that when he was followed by a member of staff, Mr Deery told the person that he would be found in a field in St Flannan’s College.
Mr Deery pleaded guilty to possession of heroin and unlawfully obstructing a garda during a search of a car in Clarecastle on July 14.
He also admitted to having cannabis for sale or supply at apartment two Linnane’s terrace on January 10.
Inspector Tom Kennedy told the court that Mr Deery has 19 previous convictions.
Defence solicitor William Cahir said his client had been a regular user of cannabis and had been homeless at the time the offences were committed.
He said, “He had to do what he had to do to survive,”
“This is a crime spree that got out of control,” added Mr Cahir.
Mr Cahir said his client regrets his actions and apoligises to each of the victims.
He said Mr Deery had dabbled in heroin but was not an addict.
Judge Durcan said the threats made to the shop owner are the “kind of threats a person never forgets.”
He said burglaries are “appalling offences committed against property and property owners that are trying to eke out a living.”
Judge Durcan added, “I don’t know who owns the Walnut House and Sweets and Treats but they arrived at their premises to find it had been broken into.”
He said Mr Deery had engaged in a “dastardly” type of criminal activity.
Judge Durcan said Mr Deery’s difficult family circumstances and early guilty plea are mitigating factors.
Noting that such crimes have become too prevalent, Judge Durcan imposed sentences of 12 months.
He went on to add; “The message must go out that the crime of burglary, which has reached epidemic proportions in this county, must be stamped out.”