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Dublin: 21°C Thursday 7 July 2022

Man caught cycling with stolen phone box under his jacket is jailed for three years

Judge Martin Nolan said Austin Byrne (38) was either a “very incompetent or very unlucky” burglar.

Image: Shutterstock/lzf

A DUBLIN MAN who was caught cycling the wrong way down a city centre street with a stolen phone box under his jacket has been jailed for three years.

Austin Byrne (38) was arrested after a garda spotted him trying to steer the bike while holding onto the phone box on Lombard Street, Dublin.

It later emerged that the phone box had not been in use for several years and most of the coins in it were punts.

Byrne had kicked it off the wall of an office building after gaining access through a door which had been left ajar.

Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that Byrne was arrested and released on bail and two months later was spotted by a garda in Dublin 4 with another man.

Byrne had an iPad hidden under his jacket and his partner had a laptop. The pair were arrested after they were unable to provide the login code for the iPad.

Gardaí analysed the laptop and discovered it had been taken from a house on Haddington Road.

Pleaded guilty

Byrne admitted gaining access to the house through a building site at the back. He admitted taking the computers and a watch.

Byrne of Townsend Street, Dublin, pleaded guilty to burglary from a Pearse Street office block and possession of stolen property on February 11, 2015 and burglary at Percy Lane on April 11, 2015. He has 58 previous convictions including 15 burglaries.

Judge Martin Nolan said Byrne was either a “very incompetent or very unlucky” burglar who was caught by gardaí immediately after both offences.

He imposed two sentences of 18 months which are to run consecutively.

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About the author:

Denis Tobin

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