Second bail refusal for serial burglar

A second attempt at bail by one of the most prolific burglars in Athlone failed again this week (October 14 ), when the judge heard how, on two recent attempts to arrest him, he absconded out of back windows, before he was finally apprehended last week.

In court was James Fallon (20 ), with one given address at Castlesampson, Taughmaconnell, who was arrested last Wednesday morning (October 7 ) in Ballinasloe on foot of seven outstanding warrants in relation to four alleged burglaries in the Athlone area between July 20 and August 1.

Garda Mary Tarpey sought to remand the defendant in custody for another week, saying his reply to the charge was: “I did them all”.

Judge John Neilan turned to Fallon’s solicitor, Mr Tony McLynn and asked if his client consented to the remand as sought by the State.

After a brief consult, Mr McLynn told the court that “Formally, I would be seeking bail”.

In evidence opposing this, Garda Tarpey told the judge how Fallon had seven outstanding bench warrants against his name since August and that on three recent attempts at arresting him in Ballinasloe, he twice leapt out of rear windows and once out of his sister’s back door to avoid capture.

Last week, when the garda opposing Fallon’s bail told Judge Conal Gibbons that along with the seven outstanding warrants, Fallon was using three addresses and was “a self-confessed heroin addict”, the judge said this evidence was “as close to as overwhelming as I’ve heard” in opposition to a bail application.

This week Judge Neilan noted Judge Gibbon’s order and again refused Fallon bail, remanding him in custody to reappear in Athlone District Court next Wednesday, October 21.

He granted him leave to appeal to the High Court.

Fallon was granted a temporary release from St Patrick’s Institution in July after serving only two months of a two-year sentence.

He and an accomplice were arrested last November for what was believed to be up to 30 burglaries around Athlone that month in which up to €10,000 worth of goods were stolen.

He was given a two-year sentence on January 30, but had this commuted to eight months on appeal in the Circuit court on May 19 after providing evidence of a completed methadone programme at Cloverhill prison.

“I won't be going back to heroin, I can tell you that,” he told the judge in court that day, referring to his €120 a day habit which the burglaries were funding.


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