Trinity burglar runs jail weapons amnesty
A SERIAL burglar with a history of violent crime is now co-ordinator of a weapons amnesty programme in prison, a court heard.
Joe Shannon (43), who admitted breaking into Trinity College, among his latest offences, was given another nine-month jail sentence at Dublin District Court.
Shannon, of Manor Street, Dublin 7, pleaded guilty to a string of theft-related charges at Dublin District Court.
Shannon broke into a building in the Trinity College campus at 3.45pm on October 26, 2014.
He smashed a window, causing €250 worth of damage. He was stopped by security staff and detained until gardai arrived.
It cost another €350 to clean up blood he left at the scene. There were two knives on him but he did not use them in the offence.
Shannon had a serious drug debt at the time and had the knives for his own protection because his life was under threat, his lawyer said. Other offences he admitted included a house burglary in south Dublin in October last year, in which the homeowner returned to find Shannon with two bags of jewellery and other property, and wearing the victim's jacket.
The owner's nephews restrained Shannon and gardai arrived.
Shannon had 65 previous convictions for offences, including aggravated burglary and false imprisonment.
The accused had two adult children but his relationship with them had broken down because of his behaviour.
Last year was one of his worst years, as his behaviour went "out of control".
But he is now involved in a prison weapons amnesty programme, his lawyer continued.
"People can dispose of weapons in bins on the landing and he is one of the co-ordinators of that," his lawyer said.
"Because he is not in uniform he is a good point of contact for people who want to get rid of them."