Addict who raided pensioners' homes faces jail sentence

A drug addict who terrorised 13 pensioners in their homes, assaulting and falsely imprisoning some, will be sentenced next month.

A drug addict who terrorised 13 pensioners in their homes, assaulting and falsely imprisoning some, will be sentenced next month.

Anthony Connors (aged 34) targeted victims living in accommodation for the elderly.

He would call at their door and ask them a question before pushing past them and ransacking their house. He was on early release from prison at the time and committed several of the offences while on bail.

Sometimes he assaulted the victim and on other occasions he locked them in a room as he escaped. Nearly all his victims were over 70 years of age

Connors of Tulip Court, Darndale pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 10 counts of burglary, three counts of false imprisonment, two counts of robbery, one count of assault and one count of handling stolen property.

The offences occurred in Donnybrook, Dun Laoghaire, Ringsend, Blackrock, Phibsboro, Ranelagh and in the city centre between November 2007 and March 2008.

Prior to his latest offending, Connors was serving an eight-year term for another string of burglaries but was given early release. He has 28 previous convictions for similar offences.

Most of Connors’ victims lived alone and many later told gardaí that they still suffered from nightmares and were afraid to leave the house.

He called to the door of one 67-year-old man and held a knife to his throat, forcing him into the house. Connors told him he was a drug addict and needed money, before taking Stg£750 (€837.32). He locked the victim in the bathroom and fled.

Gardaí later saw him in the city centre and chased after him. He was stopped by a passing off-duty army officer and arrested.

On another occasion he knocked on the door of a 68-year-old man and asked for his landlord’s phone number. When the man said he did not have it, Connors forced him inside and punched and kicked him as he lay on the ground.

He then held a bread knife to his throat before ransacking the house for money. The victim later picked him out of an identification parade.

A 79-year-old man, who has since died, was locked in his bedroom while Connors escaped with over €500.

Garda Brian Quirke told prosecuting counsel, Mr Kerida Naidoo BL, that the victim died of a terminal illness but the robbery made his last few months very stressful. He said he could not sleep and felt unsafe in his own home.

A 73-year-old man was kicked and punched as Connors forced his way into his Blackrock home. He then demanded drugs and stole the man’s heart medication along with €260 (€290.24).

As Connors was going through the drawers, the victim tried to escape but was tackled and told: “You shouldn’t have done that.”

Defence counsel, Mr Luigi Rea BL, said Connors was a heroin and cocaine addict who had spent his childhood in institutions. He is a father of two children, aged 19 and 13.

Mr Rea accepted the offences were “disturbing and unpleasant” but said Connors was remorseful and wanted to apologise to all his victims.

Judge Katherine Delahunt remanded him in custody until next month when she will finalise his sentence.

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