House break-in as babysitter slept

A PORTLAOISE man who broke into a house and stole items from under the nose of a sleeping babysitter has been put on probation, with Judge Catherine Staines remarking the man deserves to go to prison.

A PORTLAOISE man who broke into a house and stole items from under the nose of a sleeping babysitter has been put on probation, with Judge Catherine Staines remarking the man deserves to go to prison.

Jason Donoghue, 41 Lakeside Gardens, Kilminchy, committed the burglary at 31 Lakeside Gardens on April 9.

Inspector Martin Harrington gave evidence that Donoghue gained entry at 2.30am through the unlocked back door.

He passed a babysitter asleep in a chair and proceeded to steal a Dell laptop valued at €500 and a handbag worth €10.

The inspector said that Donoghue was subsequently persuaded by other people in the area to return the stolen property.

Donoghue has 24 previous convictions.

Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said her client had been drinking and taking strong medication for depression on the night.

She said Donoghue had very little recollection of the crime and he had written a letter of apology to the injured party.

“The court has to be considering a custodial sentence, but he’s asking for another chance,” Ms Fitzpatrick said.

Ms Fitzpatrick handed in a probation report on her client and said he is now engaging with an anger management course.

Judge Staines said that Donoghue deserved a prison sentence.

“It’s an extremely serious matter to break into someone’s house, especially while someone is there,” said the judge. “He should be going to prison, but I’ll put the matter back for a victim impact statement on the family.”

Judge Staines also ordered a HSE mental health report on Donoghue, and an up to date probation report.

The matter was adjourned to July 12.