A BURGLAR in a high-vis jacket who claimed to be a garda when confronted by a home owner was sentenced to three and half years in prison today (Tuesday).
At Castlebar Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Sean Ó Donnabhaín heard that Martin Conroy (44), with an address c/o Castlerea Prison, fled the scene but was found by gardaí later hiding in a dog kennel at the rear of a nearby house.
Garda Noelle Doherty told the court that on December 12, 2016, a 72-year-old man discovered the accused in the front room of his house at Chestnut Grove, Castlebar.
When challenged, Conroy told the injured party he was a member of An Garda Síochána before fleeing the scene chased by his victim.
Gardaí later discovered the accused hiding in a dog kennel at the rear of a house and arrested him.
The court was told that Conroy, who has previous convictions for burglary, made full admissions when interviewed by gardaí.
Judge Ó Donnabhaín said it was a a serious aggravating factor in the case that an elderly man had been confronted in his own home by a man in a high-vis jacket.
The judge added that Conroy has a 'considerable' history in crime and noted his 'poor record' as regards cooperation with the probation service.
He said the accused appears to have a serious lack of insight into his own situation.
On the burglary charge, Conroy was sentenced to five years in prison with the final 18 months suspended on condition that on release he attends a treatment centre for alcohol addiction.
A second charge – impersonating a garda – was taken into consideration.
The prison term was backdated to January 17 last when Conroy was first taken into custody. He has been behind bars since.