A County Clare man who during a three-day spree of crime stole a vehicle during a burglary only to crash it into a wall, and had been found in possession of property taken during an “opportunistic” burglary at a city centre hostel, received a 21 month sentence at Galway District Court this week.
Alan Kearns (27 ) with an address at 25 Church Drive, Clarecastle, Co Clare, appeared before Judge Mary Fahy on Monday and pleaded guilty to a number of offences including two counts of burglary, the unauthorised taking of an MPV, and a number of counts of handling stolen property.
The court heard that on April 14, 2011, at 2.20am the defendant was driving a vehicle which crashed into a wall. As a result of further investigation it was discovered that the keys of the vehicle had been taken during a burglary on the same date at an apartment at Gentian Hill House. The defendant had later gone back to the scene to take the vehicle which later crashed, suffering damage to the value of approximately €3,000.
The following day, Kearns was being observed at Ceannt Station and following a search he was found to be in possession of number of items which had been stolen from Celtic Tourist Hostel in Queen Street a few days earlier, on April 13. When questioned Kearns admitted stealing the property, including cameras, laptops, and computer accessories, which belonged to staff working at the hostel. The court heard that the burglary had been “opportunistic”, that Kearns had been walking past an open door and had stolen “quite a substantial amount” of property, some of which has been subsequently recovered.
Inspector Brendan Carroll informed the court that Kearns has 60 previous convictions including a 12 month sentence imposed in March 2010 for burglary, a six month sentence in February last year for three counts of burglary and public order offences. The inspector added that a total of 23 convictions related to similar type of offences.
Defence solicitor Adrian MacLynn said that in relation to the latest offences his client had co-operated with gardai. He added that Kearns has “been before the courts for most of his life” and that the underlining factor is addiction to alcohol and illicit substances. Mr MacLynn said that Kearns had been living with his partner in Galway when he went on this latest “spree of activity”.
“This spree has been going on for a long time,” replied Judge Fahy who imposed a total of 21 months and a disqualification from driving for three years