A 35-year-old Ballina man has been sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for the attempted burglary of a 90-year-old woman’s home in Ballina.
David Christie of 37 Bunree Road, Ballina, appeared before last week’s sitting of Castlebar Circuit Court where he pleaded guilty to the burglary charge as well as the possession of nearly 300 diazepam tablets for the purpose of sale and supply.
On August 10, 2011, the unemployed father of two broke the glass on the front door of the house but was disturbed by the elderly lady’s daughter and son-in-law.
The offence took place at 4am when Mr Christie broke the glass on the front door which woke up the elderly lady’s daughter and she started to scream when she saw the intruder. Her husband then woke up and he challenged Mr Christie and cut his hand on the glass.
Sergeant Gerry Lee explained that the gardaí were called and Mr Christie, who was highly intoxicated, was arrested and brought to Ballina garda station. Sgt Lee added that before the gardaí arrived that Mr Christie argued with the man and took issue with him challenging him.
The court heard that the elderly lady was not woken by the commotion but learned of the incident when she saw the broken glass, and because she lives alone is shaken by the incident.
Mr Christie was also charged with the possession of 278 diazepam tablets for the purpose of sale and supply. Mr Eoin Garavan, BL for Mr Christie said his client had previously been prescribed the drug but the prescription was terminated. He then bought them on the internet and supplied them to his friends.
Mr Garavan said his client had no recollection of the burglary at all and while he has previous convictions said the incident went ‘against the grain’. He said his client was a father of two teenage children and asked the judge to give him one last chance.
However, Judge Thomas E O’Donnell said the the burglary of a home was a serious matter and added that the elderly lady was very fortunate that her daughter and son-in-law were there. He sentence Mr Christie to 18 months imprisonment and suspended the last six months with two years post release supervision.
He also handed Mr Christie down a ten-month sentence for the drug offence but it was to run concurrent with the burglary sentence.