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Man went on burglary spree to avoid long jail term

Defendant went on burglary spree to avoid long jail term

A district court judge has observed that a Galway man who went on a spree of burglaries in Mayo and Galway in recent months did so to avoid a longer jail term as all the charges were bound by the same sentencing terms.
Christopher Morrison of 117, Sli Geal, Ballymoneen Road, Galway appeared before Castlebar District Court last Wednesday charged with three counts of burglary in Mayo. He was due to appear subsequently in Swinford District Court on two further counts and had been sentenced to 23 months in prison in Galway District Court the previous week after pleading guilty to seven counts of burglary.
All the offences took place since January of this year, leading Judge Denis McLoughlin to observe that Morrison ‘went on a crime spree’ in such a short period to ensure that he could only receive the maximum of 24 months when they all came to court in the same period of time.
Detective Garda Hugh O’Donnell told the court that the most recent burglary Morrison committed in Mayo was on May 8 last when he ransacked a house at Monagarraun, Glenisland, Castlebar.
On May 5 last at a house in Skehahagh Lower, Ballintubber, when the owners of the house were away but a relative of theirs was there she heard the doorbell ringing but didn’t answer it.
Subsequently the door to the bedroom she was in flung open and when the accused saw her, he fled down the stairs. No property was stolen.
On March 19 Morrison was responsible for the theft of €3,700 from a house at Kilroe, Ower, Headford (inside the Mayo border). An iPad, €700 in cash, two rings, a Tag Heuer watch and a gold bracelet were among the items stolen.
Detective Garda O’Donnell said that after his arrest in Galway for burglaries there he had brought Gardaí around the Galway division pointing out the houses he had broken into and Detective Garda O’Donnell described Morrison as ‘the most co-operative accused I’ve come across in investigating crime’.
Gary Mulchrone, solicitor for Morrison, said his client is 25, married with two children and was reared in Clifden. He said he appears to show a lack of appreciation of how these crimes impact on the victims.
After a recess period where Judge McLoughlin examined how much he could sentence Morrison to, he sentenced him to one month additional to the 23 month sentence from Galway and a ten month term to run concurrent to the 24 month sentence.