A CORK householder and her teenaged daughter confronted a burglar who broke into their home after six o’clock in the morning and now he has been jailed for three years.
Circuit Court President, Judge Patricia Ryan imposed a sentence of four years on Florin Mitache with an address at South Douglas Road, and suspended the last year of that sentence.
Garda Daniel Murray outlined the background to the crime at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
“The accused entered the house by force by using a screwdriver on a downstairs office window. The mother in the house heard the disturbance and she went down to the kitchen. There was nobody there and she went out to the hall.
“The accused attempted to go out the front door and it was locked,” Garda Murray said.
The assault by Mitache on the householder took the form of him pushing past her in his attempt to get out the front door but then he had to go back. He returned to the office where he had first gained access.
“Her teenage daughter heard the disturbance and there was a confrontation between all three of them in the hall.
“He returned to the office, picked up a lamp and made a threatening motion. He tried to close the door.
“Both mother and daughter tried to stop him. The teenage daughter’s hand was caught in the door. He succeeded in getting out the window and was later apprehended on Wilton Road,” Garda Murray said.
Gardaí were on Wilton Road when they saw the accused and he matched the description of the man who had carried out the burglary on Model Farm Road. The call to gardaí had just come through from the house.
The teenager’s right hand was injured. Her fingers were caught in the door when it was closed by the defendant. On x-ray it was established that no bones were broken and after a few days of stiffness and soreness she recovered.
The defendant first indicated that he was going to contest the case but he has now pleaded guilty.
Garda Murray said the accused had six previous convictions in Ireland and 14 in his native Romania — the majority of them for theft-related offences.
Garda Murray said the defendant appeared to move regularly between Ireland and Romania.
Defence barrister Alan O’Dwyer said the defendant’s wife was very ill at the time of this incident in May and since died.
Mr O’Dwyer said that less than 12 hours after the accused was interrupted in the house he was making admissions to the gardaí and saying how sorry he was and that those apologies were passed on to the injured parties.