Military-style burglar well-advised to drop appeal, judge says

Aurimas Petraska jailed over raids that netted goods worth €150,000

Mr Justice George Bermingham: said there was a risk that the man’s  sentence was going to be increased, if he proceeded with his appeal

Mr Justice George Bermingham: said there was a risk that the man’s sentence was going to be increased, if he proceeded with his appeal

 

A man jailed for his role in a military-style burglary gang was well-advised to drop his sentence appeal, according to a senior judge.

Aurimas Petraska, of Church Street, Rathkeale, Co Limerick, pleaded guilty to a series of burglaries which involved the theft of €150,000 worth of women’s clothes and Chanel beauty products in counties Tipperary, Cork and Limerick in 2016.

The Lithuanian national was sentenced to seven years imprisonment with the final 18 months suspended by Judge Tom O’Donnell at Limerick Circuit Criminal Court on May 5th, 2017.

Judge O’Donnell said the gang with which Petraska was linked were “professional”. He said Petraska’s raids were “premeditated and planned down to the last detail and executed with military precision”.

Petraska was due to appeal against the severity of his sentence on Friday. .

However, his barrister, John Moher BL, told the Court of Appeal that Petraska wished to withdraw his appeal.

President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice George Birmingham said Petraska had done “extraordinarily well” in the Circuit Court to receive the sentence that he did. There was a risk that his sentence was going to be increased, if he proceeded with his appeal, the judge said.

“It’s clear he (Petraska) has received sensible, responsible and shrewd advice,” Mr Justice Birmingham said.

The court permitted the appeal to be withdrawn.

Last year, the Court of Appeal delivered a landmark judgment on sentencing for burglary offences.

The court set sentencing guidelines for judges on how to deal with the offence of burglary, arising out of the “serious social problem” they were causing, particularly in isolated rural areas.