A YOUNG man went “off the rails” when his 60-year-old father died of Covid and carried out burglaries in the Watergrasshill and Carrignavar areas.
Twenty-four-year-old Stephen McCarthy of Glennanor, Old Mallow Road, Cork, pleaded guilty at Cork District Court to a number of charges including burglaries committed around July 2021.
Defence solicitor, Joseph Cuddigan, said: “All offences were committed in very close proximity.
“Initially, I could not grasp what had given rise to this behaviour.
“He tells me his father died of Covid at the age of 60, immediately prior to the first offence.
“It caused him to go off the rails in terms of alcohol abuse.
“He would not be a hardened criminal by any stretch of the imagination.
“I suggest a probation report might be of assistance. He fell into the clutches of people steeped in criminality.”
Judge Colm Roberts said: “This is several different offences around the same time – basically causing havoc in the area. There has to be a custodial sentence.
“I can understand how he makes one mistake and falls into a situation. But then you say, I am out of here. That did not happen in this case. He continued on in the situation.
“He has to take responsibility when the matters are of such a serious nature from a societal point of view. I have to take into consideration my obligation to society.
“Some of these matters could have gone to the Circuit Court.”
Judge Roberts imposed a total sentence of six months with the last three months suspended.
Sergeant John Kelleher said gardaí found a fingerprint of the accused at the scene where two burglaries occurred.
He also stole a car from outside one of the houses which was located 500 metres from the scene of the crime. Again there was a fingerprint of the defendant in the car.