Reforming addict sentenced to four years for burglaries while on bail

A reforming drug addict has received a four-year sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for a string of burglaries committed in one month while he was on bail for possession of heroin.

Francis Broughan (aged 31) received a sentence totaling eight years in May 2008 for two drugs offences including possession of heroin valued at €73,000 and is due for release in January 2014.

Broughan, of Hill Street Flats, Dublin 1, pleaded guilty to ten counts of burglaries committed between November 2 and December 2, 2007.

Judge Katherine Delahunt imposed sentences of between 12 months and two and half years for the burglaries. Some of the terms were concurrent to each other, meaning they totaled four years.

However, he will serve no extra time in prison as the four-year term is to run concurrently with the original eight-year sentence.

Sergeant Liam Donahue told Ms Monika Leech BL, prosecuting, that in one month Broughan took part in 10 burglaries of homes and businesses in the north inner city in which items such as laptops, digital cameras, mobile phones, cigarettes valued at €400 and baby clothes valued at €60.

Sgt Donahue said gardaí conducted an investigation based on confidential information and Broughan, who has 16 previous convictions, admitted involvement in the offences on his arrest.

Sgt Donahue agreed with defence counsel, Mr Justin McQuade BL there was an "slight degree of fear" on Broughan’s part towards his accomplice in some of the burglaries.

Mr McQuade said Broughan was using his time in custody wisely and though his job as a cleaner in the prison he has "relearned that work provides self respect and dignity that was absent in his life of drugs and crime".

He said Broughan was on a methadone program and hoped that there would be an economic upturn before his release in 2014.

Judge Delahunt imposed concurrent sentences totalling eight years on Broughan in May 2008 for possession of heroin. Broughan was found with heroin valued at €73,000 at his home in August 2006 but continued to deal in drugs and a further quantity valued at over €1,000 was found by gardaí three months later.

Defence counsel, Mr Conor Devalley SC, told Judge Delahunt on that occasion that Broughan had been abusing drugs since he was 16 years old and "had practically nil education". He had suffered a "traumatic event" at a young age and "resorted to mind-altering substances".


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