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Snowhere to hide - drug addict burglar nabbed by his frozen footprints

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Mark O’Shea handed suspended sentence for restaurant raid

Mark O’Shea handed suspended sentence for restaurant raid

Mark O’Shea handed suspended sentence for restaurant raid

Gardai caught a burglar near the scene of a restaurant break-in by following a trail of footprints he left in the snow.

Mark O'Shea (38) stole cash from the Dublin location as the Beast From The East storm swept Ireland last year.

Officers immediately spotted his tracks in the fresh blanket of snow.

O'Shea tried to flee when gardai saw him but he was arrested after a struggle.

Intruder

The accused, of Thornton Heights, Inchicore, pleaded guilty to burglary at Moloughney's Restaurant.

Judge John Hughes gave him a six-month suspended sentence.

He noted there had been no confrontation at the restaurant in Vernon Avenue, Clontarf, and there was no suggestion of violence.

Dublin District Court heard gardai became aware of an intruder at the restaurant on March 2, 2018, when €200 was taken from the till.

There had been a heavy snowfall and gardai followed the trail that led to the accused.

When he saw the officers, he tried to run into a cul-de-sac but they were able to pin him down. A garda told Judge Hughes the accused did not encounter anyone during the burglary but put up "quite a struggle" with officers.

The court heard that O'Shea had 36 previous convictions for offences including theft, criminal damage and possession of drugs. It had been four years since O'Shea's last theft conviction, his barrister said.

A probation report before the court outlined the accused's personal circumstances.

O'Shea had been getting on very well for a period of his life and had a successful business but lost that during the recession, his barrister continued.

Habit

O'Shea's drug problem began while he was out of work and he slid into addiction. He had stolen to feed his habit, the court heard.

However, since the crimes, he had taken steps to wean himself off drugs.

O'Shea had moved out of Dublin to Arklow, Co Wicklow, to help his rehabilitation.

The probation report had "positive aspects" and spoke highly of O'Shea's recent attempts to get back on the straight and narrow.

Judge Hughes suspended the sentence for a year, on condition that he continued to engage with the drug rehabilitation services.


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