herald

Saturday 10 December 2016

'I'll put a bullet in your brain', church burglar told sergeant in court

St Brigid’s Church was burgled. Pic: Collins
St Brigid’s Church was burgled. Pic: Collins

A young man who stole a €7,000 gold-plated monstrance containing the Holy Sacrament from a Dublin church has been sentenced to seven years in jail.

Mark Mosley (24), who has 71 previous convictions, was also jailed for stealing a mobile phone at knifepoint, threatening a garda and burglary. He had been abusing alcohol, tablets and heroin at the time.

The monstrance, which was presented to St Brigid's Church in Killester in 1927, has not been recovered.

Mosley, of Cromcastle Park and Gracefield Avenue, Artane, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary at the church on June 13 last year.

He also pleaded guilty to the theft of a mobile phone at Harmonstown Dart Station two weeks later.

Mosley further pleaded guilty to burglary at a house on Glenwood Road, Edenmore, last January 13 and to making a threat to Sgt Basil Grimes in the Criminal Courts of Justice.

Gda Joan O'Connor told prosecuting counsel John Quirke that Mosley broke into the church sacristy and ransacked the room.

He stole the monstrance and left fingerprints at the scene that were traced back to him.

Gda O'Connor said that on June 27 last year, two men were at Harmonstown Dart Station at midnight when Mosley came along, intoxicated, wearing sunglasses and carrying a pizza box and a bag of chips.

Recognised

He produced a large kitchen knife and ordered the men to "give me your stuff" while pointing the knife at them. One of the men handed over his mobile phone and Mosley ran off. He was later recognised from CCTV and arrested.

He told gardai he "didn't remember" much about the night as he had been abusing alcohol and drugs.

Gda Eoin Kennedy said Mosley went to a house in Edenmore where he claimed to know the brother of a teenager living there. The teenager let him in to the porch, but Mosley went upstairs looking for the bro- ther's bedroom.

He grabbed an ornamental sword that was in the bedroom and when the teenager told him it was blunt, Mosley said: "I'll still be able to stab you with it."

Mosley picked up an iPad but left it back as he could not unlock it. He fled on a stolen bike.

While in court on January 15 for a bail hearing in relation to the house burglary, Mosley made threatening gestures to Sgt Basil Grimes by making the shape of a gun with his hand and pointing it to his head.

"He mouthed the word 'boom'," said Gda Kennedy. "He then said 'Bang, bang, bang, I'm going to put a bullet in your brain and I am going to take you away from your kids."

Defence counsel Pieter Le Vert said Mosley, who has two children, wished to apologise to the garda and his victims.

Judge Elma Sheahan sentenced Mosley to seven years but suspended the final 18 months.

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