A flip-flop wearing burglar who was linked to a subsequent robbery due to his unusual choice of footwear has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.
Martin Connors (aged 18) was wearing flip flops and white socks when he was captured on CCTV with a group of young men breaking into the home of a frightened family. Later that night he took part in the robbery of a pizza delivery man.
He was arrested following a garda pursuit after fleeing the scene of the robbery with others in a Fiat Punto and his flip flops were found in the getaway car.
Connors, of Cloonmore Park, Tallaght, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary at Versoy Avenue, Citywest and robbery at Riverside Cottages, Templeogue on August 31, 2018. He has 42 previous convictions.
Judge Martin Nolan said “the burglary or home invasion” had been the opposite to clever or subtle. He noted the group had banged down the door of the house, invaded it and left within one minute. He said the burglary had been very frightening for the family who were home that night.
He said Connors had then gone on to attack and rob a “terrified pizza delivery man.”
Judge Nolan took into account Connor's learning challenges and difficult life. He noted Connors had an ambition to reform himself and said he hoped he would succeed.
He imposed a five-year sentence, suspending the final 18 months on condition he undergo a period of probation supervision.
Garda Dean Maxwell told Karl Finnegan BL, prosecuting, that Connors and a group of others were captured banging with a golf club and kicking on the door of a family home trying to get in. The family were awoken and frightened by the experience.
The group were in the house for about one minute before leaving in a small car.
Gda Maxwell said that not too long afterwards a pizza delivery man was pushed off his motorbike, threatened and robbed by two young males.
They left the area in a Fiat Punto. Gardaí were alerted and pursued the car in the direction of the Wicklow mountains.
The car crashed into thick hedging and Connors was found hiding a furze bush. He told gardaí his name was Micheal McDonagh and that he was 12 years old. He was arrested and interviewed.
Gda Maxwell agreed with Sarah Jane O'Callaghan BL, defending, that gardaí knew Connor's family for “all the wrong reasons” with his father and mother having both served prison sentences.
The garda agreed with Ms O'Callaghan that Connors could be a sensitive young man and had a “different side to him.” He agreed Connors was always respectful to him.
Ms O'Callaghan said Connors had an unusual background and was “almost anaesthetised to crime”. She said he had made “wrong choice after wrong choice” while seeking approval from his peers.
She said Connors was now a father and had indicated a desire to change.