Burglar who hid under attic insulation remanded on bail

A burglar who fell through the ceiling of a house after hiding from gardaí under the insulation in an attic has been remanded on bail pending sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

A burglar who fell through the ceiling of a house after hiding from gardaí under the insulation in an attic has been remanded on bail pending sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Richard Woods (aged 29) of Finnstown Hall, Lucan, told gardai that he got into the house through an extension that was being built on and he climed into the attic to try and steal some power tools that he intended to sell on for heroin.

He claimed he thought that the house was unoccupied at the time because of the construction work and said that he was not going to go down into the main part of the building.

Judge Tony Hunt adjourned the case to next February and ordered the preparation of a probation report after he heard evidence that Woods was free from drugs for the first time in 14 years.

He said he was impressed by Woods progress and said there was "a reasonable hope" that he would not re-offend.

"I think it is in the public’s interest to encourage his rehabilitation rather than cost the tax payer money by putting him into custody," Judge Hunt said.

Woods pleaded guilty to burglary at the house in Lucan on March 31, 2007. He had five previous convictions including a five year sentence for having drugs for sale or supply.

Garda John McWeeney told Mr Noel Devitt BL, prosecuting, that the owners of the house woke up at 3am to hear footsteps in their attic.

When gardaí arrived at the house it took them some time to find Woods, who was hidden under insulation. He tried to escape and fell through the ceiling into a box room below.

Woods was found to have various implements on him including a screwdriver, gloves and a balaclava. He admitted that he was wearing socks over his shoes so that he wouldn’t leave footprints behind.

Garda McWeeney agreed with Ms Rebecca Smith BL, defending, that her client looks much better physically and accepted that he is now drug free.

Ms Smith told Judge Hunt that her client had €1,050 to offer the owners of the house as a token of his remorse and to cover the cost of the damage.

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