Heroin addict escapes jail over burglary

A heroin addict who threw a bag of stolen goods into his neighbour’s garden during a Garda raid was today given a three-year suspended sentence for burglary.

A heroin addict who threw a bag of stolen goods into his neighbour’s garden during a Garda raid was today given a three-year suspended sentence for burglary.

Kenneth Kinsella, (aged 28), from River Close, Killiney, Dublin, had a series of previous convictions for stealing to feed his habit.

But at the Circuit Criminal Court in Dublin, Judge Kevin Haugh said Kinsella should be allowed to continue his rehabilitation programme at Coolmine Lodge.

“It’s quite clearly in society’s interest that this regime should continue to bring about a situation where Mr Kinsella ceases to be a drug addict and ceases to commit crime to feed his habit,” he said.

The father-of-two had pleaded guilty to entering a house in Shankhill in Dublin through unlocked patio doors in the early hours of January 10 last year.

He stole 10 items worth around €3,000 in total including a laptop, a discman, a digital camera, a mobile phone and some DVDs.

Garda Stephen Ryan from Shankhill Garda Station told the court that he and other detectives had subsequently obtained a search warrant for Kinsella’s house in Killiney.

“I went to the back of the house. I observed the accused throw a bag out of the top window,” he said.

When the bag was recovered it was found to have contained a number of the stolen items.

Kinsella co-operated fully with gardai and gave information which led to the recovery of the other items.

Garda Ryan said he had known Kinsella for eight years and added that he was a long-term abuser of heroin.

“He was motivated by his drug abuse. He was on heroin at the time. However he said that Kinsella had shown a huge improvement since he began a rehabilitation programme at the Coolmine Lodge last February.

“At the time, he was basically half the man he is today. He was on a huge amount of heroin,” he said.

Junior counsel Lillian Buckley, representing Kinsella, said he had re-established contact with his two children aged four and six at weekends.

Judge Haugh sentenced him to three years imprisonment and backdated it to October last year to take account of the time he had already spent in custody.

He said he would suspend the remainder of the sentence provided Kinsella entered into a bond of good behaviour for four years, complied with the requirements to give regular specimens to Coolmine Lodge and stayed clear of drugs.

He warned Kinsella that if he fell off the wagon and gave a specimen that tested positive for prescribed drugs he would have to serve the sentence in prison.

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