THOUSANDS of euro worth of jewellery stolen from a house at Tivoli was found hidden under a rock behind a wheelie bin on Dunbar St in Cork. The man who stole it during a burglary has been jailed for 18 months.
Judge Helen Boyle imposed that sentence on David Cronin at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
The 57-year-old had 107 previous convictions, including 35 for burglary, nine for theft, and four for robbery, as well as assault and public-order convictions, Detective Garda Mark Durcan said.
Donal O’Sullivan, defence barrister, said: “His first conviction dated back to 1977, when he was quite a young boy and he ended up in an industrial school, which was not of any assistance to him.”
He was found with crack cocaine on the day of his arrest, the detective said.
The defence barrister said: “While he exercised his right to silence during interview, he showed you (the detective) where he stashed the jewellery. The house was unoccupied as far as he knew and as soon as someone turned up, he just got out — there was no confrontation or anything like that.
“He is a pity. He has struggled throughout his life. He would not have had great assistance as a child from those who should have assisted him.
“He has struggled throughout his life from addictions. He wishes he weren’t here, but he has to face up to it.
“He is nearly 60. He wishes to try — for whatever time is left to him — to make sure he does not spend all his time in and out of custody,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
Det Garda Durcan said an alarm was set off in the Tivoli burglary when the family were away on holidays and Cronin was seen running from the house and jumping a fence at the end of the garden.
Cronin, of Deerpark House, Friars Walk, Cork, signed pleas of guilty to a number of charges.
He confessed to entering the house as a trespasser and committing a theft on July 16, 2022. He also admitted trespassing on the curtilage of Circle K and he pleaded guilty to being in possession of stolen property at Mayfield Garda Station on Sunday, July 17, namely a lady’s gold watch, five gold coins, and a man’s watch. He also admitted two counts of causing criminal damage.
Det Garda Durcan said: “The neighbour turned off the alarm and turned around to see a man coming down the stairs carrying a pillow and a small bag.
“The man got to the bottom of the stairs and ran past her into the living room and out the back door. She saw him run down to the end of the garden, where he jumped the fence into the rear of the Circle K station in Tivoli.”
Judge Helen Boyle said aggravating factors included the fact that it took place in a domestic residence, even if he thought it was unoccupied.
“Items of sentimental value and of actual value were taken,” Judge Boyle said. “This undoubtedly had an impact on the householder. Her holiday was ruined. It was a scary episode from her point of view to come back from holiday to find that her home was burgled. She was concerned for herself and she was concerned for her neighbour also.”
The judge imposed a sentence of three years, with half of it suspended.