Woman jailed for burglary at occuppied family home

A 33-year-old woman who during a binge of “tablets and alcohol” attempted to commit a burglary at a family home while an elderly lady slept upstairs has been sentenced to nine months in jail with the last four months suspended with conditions.

Tara Gardiner with an address at 12 Beechwood Park, Ballybane, appeared at Galway District Court on Monday where she pleaded guilty to burglary at a house in Meadow Grove, Ballybane, on October 14, 2012

Inspector Ernie Whyte told the court that at 11.30pm gardai received a call about two people who were acting suspiciously near a house. When gardai arrived at the premises they went to the rear, looked through the window and saw the defendant and a juvenile male inside the house. The defendant ran through the front of the house, and out the front door where she was apprehended by the gardai.

The court heard that a 70-year-old woman had been upstairs and her son downstairs when the incident occurred. A laptop had also been moved from one room to the next and according to Inspector Whyte there was an “intention to take it”. Gardiner has three previous convictions including two assaults, one of a garda, and a criminal damage offence.

Gardiner’s solicitor said her client had been on a “binge of tablets and alcohol” at the time of the offence and she had been “horrified to hear that there was an elderly lady in the house”. The solicitor then explained that Gardiner went through “traumatic cicumstances” with family and she had “hit rock bottom”.

“It is very serious to go into someone’s house,” said Judge Mary Fahy before imposing a nine month jail sentence with four months suspended for 12 months on condition that she be of good behaviour and that she engages with the probation services within 24 hours of release. The sentence was backdated to October 15.

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