Five years for men who terrorised victim during robbery

A Wicklow man and his south Dublin accomplice who terrorised a man during a drug fuelled robbery of his home two years ago have each been given a five year prison sentence.

A Wicklow man and his south Dublin accomplice who terrorised a man during a drug fuelled robbery of his home two years ago have each been given a five year prison sentence.

Stephen Moorehouse (aged 23) and Neville Burnett (aged 20) along with an accomplice beat Mr Gavin Wall (aged 33) while robbing him in his home at his Carrickmines home in order to get money to feed their drug habits.

Moorehouse, of Oldcourt Park, Bray, and Burnett, of Ballyogan Court, Carrickmines pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to aggravated burglary on October 24, 2006.

The victim recognised one of the thugs as his neighbour Burnett who held him in an headlock while his accomplice threatened to drop a tin of paint on his head but was told not to by Burnett.

Garda Caitriona Keyes told prosecuting counsel, Mr Colm O Briain BL, that Mr Wall managed to get free for a short while by pressing his finger into Burnett’s eyeball but was caught and beaten again.

Judge Katherine Delahunt imposed a sentence of five years on the duo and suspended the final two years.

Garda Keyes said Mr Wall was asleep in his family home when he was awoken by knocking on his front door. He looked out the window and saw a group of men shouting for his father. Mr Wall told them he was not there and asked them to leave.

Mr Wall then heard a loud bang on the door five minutes later and went to go downstairs but was confronted on the landing by three men, one of whom he recognised as his neighbour Burnett.

Garda Keyes said they beat Mr Wall in his bedroom and Moorehouse held him down while Burnett and the other man searched the room. Mr Wall managed to escape but fell down the stairs and was beaten again.

He ran back upstairs and tried to lock himself into a room but the men forced the door open. He was beaten again and shoved downstairs. He overheard threats being made but was unsure from which man.

Garda Keyes said Mr Wall was taken back upstairs where he was beaten again and Burnett threw a glass at him before they left with €60 and his mobile phone.

Garda Keyes said Mr Wall went to Loughlinstown Hospital where he was seen by a nurse but discharged himself before seeing a doctor and declined to make a victim impact report.

Moorehouse, Burnett and their accomplice, who has yet to come before the courts, were arrested that night.

Garda Keyes said Moorehouse, who has 47 previous convictions, and Burnett, who has 31 previous convictions, admitted being at the scene but not assaulting Mr Wall.

Mr Gerry O’Brien SC, defending Moorehouse, said his client wished to apologise to Mr Wall. He said Moorehouse had been "the worse for wear on drugs" on the night and his life had been "disrupted by drug abuse" but he was making an effort to change.

Mr O’Brien said Moorehouse had €1,000 compensation in court to offer to his victim

Ms Isobel Kennedy SC, defending Burnett, said he was a serious drug addict whose offending was motivated by his habit and wished to apologise to his neighbour.

She said he had taken "tablets, illicit drugs and alcohol on the night" and could recall little about it. He had co-operated with gardai and had been dealing with his drug addiction while in custody.

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