Kilkenny Circuit Court: Burglar is on the right path after finding a Christian way of life

Matters adjourned to next court sittings

Kilkenny Circuit Court: Burglar is on the right path after findingg a Christian way of life

Kilkenny Courthouse

A burglar who admitted breaking into a city centre barbers and stealing cash and tools and burgling an apartment had his case adjourned at Kilkenny Circuit Court.

Andrew Houlihan of no fixed abode admitted the offences in September 2014 and May 2015.

The court heard that on September 13, 2014 the injured party had locked up his premises, the Turkish barbers on Kieran Street and when he returned on September 15 the property had been entered. The tills had been opened and numerous items had been taken including scissors and shavers.

The incident was reported to gardaí and they called to the injured party's premises. The defendant admitted breaking into the premises and the stolen property, including gels, shampoos, shavers and razors, were subsequently recovered from a house in the Altamount Park area of the city.

The defendant said he took €300 but this was disputed by the injured party who initially said €3,000 was taken and then said in another statement that it was €2,000 which was taken.

The court heard that at the time the defendant was keeping very bad company and that at the time of the offence the 21-year-old was suffering from addiction issues. The defendant has not come to garda attention since the incident. He went into residential treatment for his addiction issues in July 2015 and remained there for 15 months.

The defendant also entered a plea in relation to a burglary on May 3, 2015 at Pennefeather Lane. The court heard that on the date in question a group of friends were at a stag party had rented a house and went out socialising. One of the group returned home in the evening and walked in and closed the door but did not lock it.

He went up to the bedroom and started eating his pizza and was keeping 'an ear out' for the rest of the party. He heard footsteps but no conversation and then three heads popped around the door. He tried to close the door and there was a struggle and he was pushed back and he was thrown a punch and a pint glass was thrown at his forehead and he was sprayed with a fire extinguisher. He was asked for his wallet and gave one of the men €50 and got 'two or three deep cuts to his face' and the men left. The injured party realised there was a box of Strongbow cider missing and the accused was subsequently identified on CCTV.

The defendant told gardaí that on the night in question he had nowhere to stay and went into the house and started drinking. He admitted that the injured party told him 'to get out' and that he 'sounded scared' and that he 'threw a pint at his chest'. The defendant said he was 'totally ashamed' and made full admissions.

Houlihan has been in Christian based treatment for the past 16 months and wants to start a new life in the army.

"I want to show my ex girlfriend and son that I can lead a good life. I grew up without a father, I don't want my son to do the same.”

The court heard that the defendant has completed treatement and is now a member of the congregation at The Hope City Church in Tallaght. At the time of the offences he was socialising with 'an undesirable crowd' and has moved from Kilkenny and is no longer keeping that company. He is also involved in the Dublin Christian Mission and volunteers at a homeless facility.

Judge Brian O'Callaghan said that the court is impressed by the reports handed in and said that the defendant is a young man who appears to be taking serious steps to get back on track.

He adjourned both matters for a year to give the defendant time to convince the courts that he is absolutely genuine in trying to turn himself around.

The matters were listed for a date to be set at the next Circuit Court sittings in May.