Knife-wielding burglar left retired soldier tied up and locked in hot press

Robert Kinlan (35) has been jailed for eight years
Knife-wielding burglar left retired soldier tied up and locked in hot press

Declan Brennan

A man who tied up and imprisoned a retired soldier who was living alone in a housing complex has been jailed for eight years.

Robert Kinlan (35) was armed with a knife with a six-inch blade when he forced his way past the 69-year-old victim who had answered the door of his apartment at Ballygall Rd, East, Glasnevin, Dublin.

During the burglary on August 25th, 2019 the victim tried to escape but Kinlan grabbed him and pushed him to the floor. He then used electric cables to tie up the man before locking him inside a wardrobe by using a chair to hold the wardrobe door shut.

Kinlan later moved him into the hot press, putting a mattress against the door to keep it closed.

During the 35-minute ordeal Kinlan ransacked the flat and found €600 in cash, an iPhone, a laptop and two old Nokia phones. He left the apartment with the victim still holed up in the hot press.

The victim got out and the alarm was raised. The victim was treated for two fractured ribs and cuts to his elbows.

Guilty plea

Gardai retrieved CCTV footage from the area and identified Kinlan. He was arrested the following month but told gardai nothing of evidential value during garda interviews.

Kinlan, of no fixed abode but formerly of Ballygall Parade, Finglas, Dublin, subsequently pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to aggravated burglary.

His previous convictions include false imprisonment, burglaries, robberies and attempted robbery.

Garda Finbar Fleming told Pieter Le Vert BL, prosecuting, that the victim had served 25 years with the Irish Defence Forces, including tours of duty in Cyprus and the Lebanon.

Judge Martin Nolan said that the victim was living in a nice place and was happy, but his peace of mind was now “totally affected” by the burglary.

He said that the only mitigation was Kinlan's plea of guilty and the fact that he seemed to be remorseful. He noted that Kinlan had a tough upbringing.

He said that Kinlan probably didn't intend to harm the victim but that his actions had a terrible effect. He imposed an eight-year prison sentence.

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