Burglar’s jail terms add up to 144 years

A serial burglar who regularly targets pensioners’ homes has been sentenced to 144 years in prison over the course of his criminal career, a court has heard.

Burglar’s jail terms add up to 144 years

Anthony Connors, aged 41, is due to be sentenced again next month after he held an elderly couple hostage in their apartment.

He held a broom handle with a jagged edge to the face of artist Noel Lewis, 81, threatened to stab him, and demanded money. He got in through an open back door as the couple were airing the flat out.

Connors has 48 previous convictions. Garda Niall Murray said all of Connors’ robberies and burglaries, apart from one, involved raiding the homes of elderly people.

Connors had been allowed out on bail in May 2016 for residential drug treatment and gardaí were to be notified if he left. A bench warrant was issued for his arrest on June 21, 2016, the day he burgled the home of Mr Lewis and his partner and fellow artist Dympna O’Halloran, 56.

Connors, of Richmond St, Dublin 2, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to aggravated burglary , false imprisonment of Mr Lewis, and making a threat to Ms O’Halloran that he would burn their flat.

Gda Murray told Fiona McGowan, prosecuting, that during the one-hour ordeal Connors continually demanded cash after taking over €170 from them.

Ms McGowan said towards the end of the incident, Mr Lewis grabbed a heavy battery pack and “belted” Connors across the head with it leaving him stunned. Connors turned to him and said to him “that’s a helluva a bang you gave me. I’m going to get you one back.” He then moved into the kitchen but was swaying on his feet. Mr Lewis presumed he was going to get a knife but instead Connors took a distinctive shirt belonging to the man and left. Gda Murray said Connors stole a tablet that contained a massive body of Ms O’Halloran’s work. A victim impact report from Mr Lewis said that he felt “fear, anger, and frustration”. He woke up with nightmares, had problems sleeping, and had a lack of confidence going out.

Ms O’Halloran’s victim impact report said she was disorientated and suffered frequent short-term memory loss. She suffered loss of sleep and nightmares. The couple no longer felt they were able to the leave the door of the apartment open to control the damp problem. They said the apartment had become “toxic” as a result.

Mark Lynam, defending, said his client, having considered the victim impact reports, was shocked, ashamed and “experienced repulsion in relation to his actions”.

Judge Elma Sheahan remanded Connors in continuing custody until April 7.

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