A house was ransacked and €1,200 worth of property was taken as three young children slept when the culprit got into the house through friends of the babysitter.
Inspector Ronan Kenneally said at Cork District Court yesterday that the babysitter may have had permission to have some friends visit when she was babysitting but more people arrived than she expected. One of them went through upstairs rooms in the house without her knowledge and stole the property.
The family was very upset to find that their property was taken, particularly one item which had sentimental value, a digital camera with family photographs.
Insp Kenneally said they were all more upset at the idea the man responsible had gone through the rooms when their three children were asleep.
“It is a frightening thing for the parents to come home to. I am sure they have thought about it every day since,” said Judge Olann Kelleher. “€1,200 was the value of property taken but you could not put a value on the upset caused by the thought of the children asleep in their beds and someone ransacking the house and going through the rooms.”
Corey McAuliffe, aged 19, of Lysander House, Carr’s Hill, Carrigaline, Co Cork, pleaded guilty at Cork District Court to charges of handling stolen property arising out of the incident.
Sergeant Padraig Kelleher said the incident occurred on September 26, 2014, when the babysitter invited some friends to join her, but a greater number arrived than expected. The items stolen included a computer game, DVD player, camera, and equipment.
Frank Buttimer, solicitor, said it was accepted that it was a most upsetting experience for the parents.
Mr Buttimer said that the accused was easily identified and he made full admissions when charged with handling stolen property.
Mr Buttimer said that McAuliffe was in a position to pay back €400 now and €50 a week until the full compensation was paid.
The solicitor said that McAuliffe had spent almost all of his life without his parents.
Judge Kelleher said he had to balance the impact on the injured parties with the defendant’s own circumstances and he put sentencing back for a probation report.
Sentencing was adjourned until March 8.
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