A judge yesterday accused radio talk show hosts of whipping up public opinion about courts not dealing with repeat burglary offenders.
At Ennis District Court, Judge Patrick Durcan made his comment when jailing a burglar who stole a six-year-old girl’s money box from her home. It contained her €50 in savings.
On February 20, serial thief, John Brennan, aged 46, of Pella Rd, Kilrush, entered a home at O’Gorman Street, in the west Clare town, and went through the house, before making away with the child’s money box.
Insp Tom Kennedy told the court that the front door of the home was unlocked and that no-one was at home.
Insp Kennedy said that Brennan has 45 previous convictions, “and many of those are for theft and six for burglary offences, similar to what is before the court today”. He said Brennan was previously before the court in March, for four theft offences, and the last burglary offence was July 12, 2016, at Kilrush District Court. Then, he received six months in jail.
In 2014, Judge Durcan also jailed Brennan for six months, for breaking into a funeral home and for handling five bottles of altar wine stolen from the local church.
The judge said that Brennan’s latest offence “is not only a crime against property, but a crime against childhood”.
In sentencing, Judge Durcan said that “the court has to bear in mind that there is a constant outcry by the people who man the media in this country, and who man the talk shows, and who whip up public opinion on a daily basis that the courts aren’t doing enough in relation to matters of this nature”. He said that “the courts don’t respond to the people in the media who whip up public opinion, but the legislature does”.
Judge Durcan jailed him for six months, backdating it to when he was brought into custody, on April 25.
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