Fingerprints and DNA busts burglar

Fingerprints and DNA busts burglar
A courtroom in Anglesea Street

Evidence against a thief for burgling an apartment in Cork included a fingerprint at the window, DNA on a Pepsi can, DNA on a cigarette and a phone credit receipt linked to him.

Detective Garda John Gleeson described the extensive evidence linking Stephen O’Sullivan (also known as Hornibrook) formerly of Roman Street, Cork, to the scene of the crime at Knapp’s Square, Mulgrave Road.

The accused pleaded guilty to the charge of carrying out the burglary at the apartment at Knapp’s Square.

Judge Brian O’Callaghan sentenced him to two and a half years in prison at Cork Circuit Criminal Court today.

Detective Garda John Gleeson testified that the owner of the apartment woke to the sound of intruders during the early hours of June 11 2018.

“He went out to the hall where there were two males in the process of getting out the window,” Det Garda Gleeson said.

The owner saw that his laptop and iPad had been left beside the window by the intruders.

They had left with a €1,000 camera and €600 lens and a BMW car key which cost the owner €250 to replace.

Apart from the fingerprint and the two items carrying the accused man’s DNA there was a phone credit receipt and when the CCTV from the shop was examined, Stephen O’Sullivan was clearly seen at the counter when the phone credit was sold.

The phone number was also the number given by O’Sullivan when he signed on for social welfare.

Despite the evidence, the accused made no admissions when questioned.

Paula McCarthy, defence barrister, said it was an opportunistic burglary in that the first-floor window had been open and she said there was no violence shown.

Ms McCarthy added, “He is extremely remorseful for his actions and wishes to apologise.” 

Det Garda Gleeson said, “That is the first I have heard of an apology. No remorse was shown to us.” 

Judge O’Callaghan said that in the middle of the night the accused entered as a trespasser and committed theft.

“Anyone committing an offence like this cannot expect to be treated lightly. Sadly you had an addiction issue.

“The victim asleep in his bedroom. Whether a window was open or not in the month of June is irrelevant. People entitled to have their windows open in the knowledge that they are safe and secure in their homes.

“This was a complete and utter invasion of this man’s home – an invasion of this man’s privacy. For him to exit his bedroom and find two total strangers outside, the impact must have been quite severe.

“There was exceptionally good work by An Garda Síochána. Forensic evidence led guards to Mr O’Sullivan. From the moment of his arrest to his appearance in Cork this morning he has shown no remorse. He has shown remorse for the first time today.

“The scale of gravity is high. Your very presence in the private home of this individual is itself harmful.” 

The judge imposed a three-year sentence with the last six months suspended. 

O’Sullivan’s accomplice was never identified. O’Sullivan had ten previous burglary convictions among his total of 105 convictions.

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