herald

Saturday 19 August 2017

Burglar known to health centre staff

A man who broke into a health centre by forcing open the security doors was well-known to staff as he had been going there for 20 years, a court heard.

Michael Smith (45) was identified as the culprit from CCTV footage.

Judge David McHugh imposed a five-month sentence.

The defendant, of Deanstown Green, Finglas, admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to burglary at Wellmount Health Centre, Finglas, last March 21.

Sgt Maria Callaghan said Smith broke into the centre by going under the shutters and forcing open the security doors.

She said he walked from room to room for nearly an hour before taking a mobile phone from the manager's office.

She added that he was captured on CCTV cameras.

The court heard Smith has 45 previous convictions.

He was also unlawfully at large at the time of the offence.

Defence solicitor Fiona Brennan said Smith was out on temporary release following the death of his sister.

She said he has battled a very significant addiction to tablets and this incident directly followed the death of his sister.

Ms Brennan said Smith found himself "unexpectedly out of prison and he reacted extraordinarily badly".

She added that Smith was very sorry for his behaviour and was "very well-known" to staff as he had been going to the centre for 20 years.

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