Rural burglaries cause fear and revulsion, says judge

Burglaries in remote rural areas cause huge revulsion and fear and had to be dealt with sternly by the courts, a sentencing judge said yesterday as he added another year to a burglar’s time in jail for his latest crime.

Rural burglaries cause fear and revulsion, says judge

William Hogan, aged 46, formerly of Liffey Park, Mayfield, Cork, was described by Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin as a recidivist burglar who had travelled from Mayfield to West Cork to carry out this crime.

Hogan was already serving three years for previous burglaries, and has 105 previous convictions. At Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday, he got a two-year consecutive term with the second year suspended.

Detective Garda James Keane said the victim, a middle-aged householder, fell watching television in his living room at Corbally, Ardfield, near Clonakilty, Co Cork, and woke to the sound of an intruder upstairs.

“He woke when he heard a noise upstairs and he went out to the hallway to see what it was,” said Det Gda Keane. “He saw the defendant coming down the stairs and he challenged him.”

However, Hogan did not back down and took €240 in cash before searching for more money. The householder managed to get out of the house. Shortly afterwards, Hogan jumped into a waiting car and fled.

Donal O’Sullivan, defending, said there would have been evidential difficulties in relation to identification if the case had gone to trial and that Hogan’s early plea of guilty had been of assistance.

Judge Ó Donnabháin said: “The man was living alone in Ardfield and your man comes down from Mayfield. I am entitled to take into consideration that this kind of offence causes so much fear and revulsion in the community.

“It was a remote area. He faced up to the householder who had to run out of his own home.”

Mr O’Sullivan said that Hogan, a father of seven, had a significant alcohol problem. He described the Ardfield burglary as opportunistic.

Judge Ó Donnabháin said: “He confronted the occupier and demanded money. He did not use particular violence but he fronted up and put fear in this man who left his house. He has to get a custodial sentence.”

Referring to the fact that Hogan was now facing a total sentence of four years, plus a fifth year suspended, the judge said: “Even with a plea a sentence of five years would not be out of order given his record.”

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