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"Sorry madam, wrong house" - would-be burglar jailed for three years

David Mantle was attacked with a walking stick by his 83-year-old victim when he broke into her house.

11/2/2014. Criminal Courts of Justice Signs Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

A WOULD-BE BURGLAR who was hit by an 83-year old woman with a walking stick after he smashed his way into her home has been jailed for three years.

David Mantle (37) of Captains Road, Crumlin, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to one count of attempted burglary at the home of Maureen Burke, Malahide Road, Clontarf on 3 July 2014.

Garda Manus Keane told Derek Cooney BL, prosecuting that at 11pm, after she had gone to bed, Ms Burke heard loud noises. She thought this was her grandchildren until she heard a window smashing and the sound of a man talking to himself.

She got out of bed and went to the upstairs landing where she saw Mantle, who smelled of alcohol.

He said “sorry madam, wrong house” and exited using the same window he came in. Garda Keane said Ms Burke gave him “a belt of her walking stick” as he left.

Gardaí investigated the next day and used fingerprints on a piece of the broken window to identify Mantle as a suspect. He was arrested and charged in January 2015.

Garda Keane agreed with Geraldine Small BL, defending, that Mantle was probably being truthful when he said he had no memory of the incident, as he had a chronic alcohol problem and regularly drank himself “into a stupor”.

Ms Small told Judge Patricia Ryan that Mantle, who has 43 previous convictions including robbery, attempted robbery and assault, was extremely remorseful for intruding on an elderly woman.

Judge Ryan imposed a four year sentence with the final year suspended on strict conditions.

Read: Man who raped two young girls in Athlone moves to appeal ‘excessive’ life sentence

Read: Man jailed for having sex with his underage step-sister when he was a teenager

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Declan Conlon

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