herald

Saturday 22 September 2018

Violent 'dopey criminal' and sister held over pair of pensioner robberies

A man and a woman were threatened in Ballyjamesduff
A man and a woman were threatened in Ballyjamesduff

A violent young Dublin criminal and his sister were last night being quizzed by gardai over two aggravated burglaries targeting pensioners in a border county.

The younger sibling is a male in his late 20s, has recently completed a prison sentence and is originally from the Tyrrelstown area.

He has been linked to burglaries in the Cavan area going back almost a decade.

He is well-known to gardai and while serving his sentence in Mountjoy jail was involved in a tense stand-off with officials after collecting drugs thrown over the prison wall.

The "dopey criminal" also has previous convictions for assault and weapons offences, and once spat in a garda's face during a court appearance.

His sister, who is in her 30s, has nowhere near the convictions of her brother but has been arrested on suspicion of theft in the past.

Both were arrested on Sunday in connection with two aggravated burglaries in Ballyjamesduff.

An 85-year-old woman and a 90-year-old man had a firearm pointed at them during the terrifying incidents.

The elderly lady told the Herald that she managed to alert the guards through a panic alarm at her home.

"They just came in through the front," she said.

"I was so scared, especially since I'm living on my own. The two had Dublin accents and pointed a gun at me while demanding that I co-operate.

"They stole some jewellery and money, but thankfully I wasn't hurt. Luckily I have a panic alarm which alerted the guards straight away.

"They were very helpful and I have my family who are now taking care of me.

"I'm still very shaken, but relieved they were caught," she added.

Traumatised

The two suspects then made their way to the 90-year-old's home on the other side of Ballyjamesduff.

The gang escaped with a quantity of cash and personal belongings, with the man left shaken by the incident.

It is understood he was taken to hospital the following day.

A neighbour of the 90-year-old told the Herald that it was the second time the victim had been robbed within a number of years.

"The first time around, thieves broke into his house and stole his car. It was later found burnt out," she said.

"I'm sure he's very traumatised by what happened on Sunday - he was even taken to hospital.

"His wife only died recently, which makes all this even more upsetting."

When the alarm was raised, a number of mobile units were immediately deployed in the area.

A short time later gardai spotted the suspects' getaway car on the main street in Virginia, Co Cavan, resulting in an immediate pursuit.

According to a source, a garda vehicle sustained minor damage while forcing the car to a complete stop.

The occupants of the car, a man and a woman, were arrested and taken to Bailieboro Garda Station.

They are both currently detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984.

No firearms have been recovered.

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