Prisoner get three-year concurrent sentence for burglary

A criminal, who is serving a six-year sentence for assaulting a Norwegian tourist which left him with severe head injuries and a serious speech impediment, has been given a concurrent three-year term for a burglary.

Leonard Finnegan (aged 20), of Harold's Cross Road, Dublin 6 pleaded guilty to burglary of an occupied house on Cloghar Road in Crumlin on July 22, 2005. He has 18 previous convictions.

Finnegan was given his six-year sentence last year for a savage assault in which he repeatedly stamped on the head of the Norwegian schoolteacher and left him unable to communicate with his young daughter for more than one hour a day

He is due for release on this sentence December 2011 and the three-year term imposed by Judge Patrick McCartan for the burglary will run concurrent, not affecting his release date.

Mr Patrick McGrath BL, prosecuting, at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, said Finnegan,, committed the burglary as part of a joint enterprise.

An accomplice went in through the kitchen window and handed out a computer, an iPod and keys to a car to him. Finnegan was later arrested and admitted that he was the person standing outside the kitchen window.

Ms Kathleen Leader BL, defending, said her client was never in trouble until he left school after his Junior Cert and started hanging around with people in the area.

"He has a one-year-old child who visits him regularly in prison and he wants to finish his sentence and get on with his life," she said, handing in letters from the Mountjoy Jail chaplain's office which said he had learned his lesson.

Ms Leader said that although the house was occupied, the occupants didn't encounter the perpetrators. "No violence was used," she said. "My client was essentially the lookout, but was the only one who co-operated with the gardaí."


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