A Portlaoise man who breached a suspended sentence had one year of the sentence activated at the recent circuit court, having been convicted of committing a burglary just weeks after being released from prison.
Patrick Dwane, formerly of Mountain View, Portlaoise, was given a two-and-a-half year sentence, suspended for three years, last July. The sentencing was for an attempted robbery and a burglary on October 6, 2013.
On that date, Dwane entered Brady’s Garage on the Abbeyleix Road, Portlaoise, armed with a broken pint glass. Dwane ordered the female shop assistant to open the till, at which point she activated the panic alarm and Dwane left the shop.
Dwane was found later that day on the premises of Sweaters & More, Hynds Square, Portlaoise, having gained access to the rear of the shop.
Dwane also received a 17-month sentence for a robbery on November 12, 2013, when he entered Shoprite, Borris Road, Portlaoise, wearing a hoody and with his face covered. He demanded money from the female shop assistant and when she refused he produced a knife. The woman opened the till and he stole a quantity of money before running off.
At the circuit court last July, Judge Tony Hunt imposed two-and-a-half years for the October 6, 2013 offences, suspended, to take effect after Dwane had finished serving the 17-month sentence for the November 12 offence.
He was released on December 3, 2014, and just weeks later he was convicted at Tullamore District Court of committing a burglary at Castle Avenue, Kilminchy, Portlaoise, on December 22 last year. As he was in breach of the suspended sentence, the matter was sent back to the Portlaoise Circuit Court.
Defence barrister for Dwane said that the defendant had suffered with a heroin addiction and at one point was on five bags of the drug a day.
Defence said that Dwane has been offered a place for residential treatment for his drug addiction, and asked that the matter be adjourned for him to take up treatment.
Judge Terence O’Sullivan remarked that within a very short period of time after coming out of jail, Dwane had committed another burglary.
“Drugs cannot constitute an excuse for committing a crime,” said the judge. “Whatever his reasons they don’t give him carte blanche to carry out the crimes he does.”
Judge O’Sullivan went on to say that from society’s point of view, these were crimes of “serious dishonesty”, and he noted that Dwane remains at a moderate risk of reoffending.
“He has to meet with the consequences of his continued criminal behaviour,” said Judge O’Sullivan.
The judge imposed one year in prison, with the balance of the sentence suspended on condition Dwane keep the peace upon his release from prison.