Burglar who targeted judge’s house jailed for three years

Vincent McNally (32) sent to different court after judge realised he had stolen from him

A serial burglar who previously targeted a Circuit Court judge’s house has been jailed for three years. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

A serial burglar who previously targeted a Circuit Court judge’s house has been jailed for three years. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

A serial burglar who previously targeted a Circuit Court judge’s house has been jailed for three years.

Vincent McNally (32) was due to be sentenced by Judge Martin Nolan last March. However, his defence counsel told Judge Nolan it may be best for another judge to deal with it.

“Are you saying Mr McNally burgled my house?” the judge asked, saying that he had been burgled twice in the past.

Counsel replied that this was the case.

“I’ll send him to a court that’s less prejudiced,” Judge Nolan said, before sending McNally to Judge Patrick McCartan’s court.

Today Judge McCartan imposed an eight-year term for three more recent burglaries. The judge suspended the final five-years of the sentence on strict conditions.

He described McNally as “a serious committed criminal”.

McNally, of The Court, St Anne’s Park, Shankill, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to three burglaries in the Shankill area in February 2014. He also admitted possession of gloves with intent to commit burglary in Shankill on April 28th, 2014.

He has 54 previous convictions, including 24 for burglary, one for robbery, one for aggravated burglary, one for theft and one for handling stolen property.

“My first reaction was to send you to prison for as long as the law permits me to, and at some stage you would get to grow up and realise there is a time to stop,” Judge McCartan had said on a previous date, before adjourning the matter for a probation report.

He said that according to McNally’s record he was jailed for almost every offence he committed.

Homes ransacked

The court heard that the homeowners returned to their properties to find their front doors had been forced open and their house had been ransacked.

In the first burglary, €5,000 worth of property had been taken, including jewellery, watches and a flat screen TV, while in the second raid, a laptop, a TV, a DVD, games consoles and controllers, phones and jewellery were taken.

In the final burglary, a laptop, an iPad and jewellery were stolen. During this incident a neighbour witnessed McNally in the house and leaving it.

The neighbour later provided gardaí­with a description of the burglar and went on to point him out in a booklet of photos, leading to McNally’s arrest.

Garda Ivor Scully told Lorcan Staines BL, prosecuting, that a colleague witnessed McNally putting on a pair of gloves and trying to force open the door of a house in Shankill.

The garda said that McNally didn’t gain entry and he was later arrested on suspicion of attempted burglary.

Colman Fitzgerald SC, defending, said his client was a chronic heroin addict who spent most of his teenage years “in one institution or another”.

He said McNally has been trying “to break the cycle of criminality with and without great success”.