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Dublin: 12°C Wednesday 28 July 2021

Man who stole Holy Sacrament from Dublin church sentenced to seven years

The monstrance containing the sacrament has not been recovered.

SCC W Murphy 1 Source: William Murphy

A YOUNG MAN who stole a €7,000 gold-plated monstrance, which contained the Holy Sacrament, from a Dublin church as part of a string of robberies has been sentenced to seven years.

Mark Mosley (24), who has 71 previous convictions, was also sentenced for robbing a mobile phone from a young man at knife-point at a Dart station, threatening a Garda at court, and for a house burglary. He had been abusing alcohol, tablets and heroin at the time of his offending.

The monstrance had been presented to St Bridget’s Church in Killester in 1927. It has not been recovered.

Mosley, of Cromcastle Park and Gracefield Avenue, Artane, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary at the church on 13 June last year.

He further pleaded guilty to the robbery of a mobile phone at Harmonstown Dart Station on 27 June 2015. Mosley further pleaded guilty to burglary at a house at Glenwood Road, Edenmore in Dublin on 13 January this year and to making a threat towards Sergeant Basil Grimes in the Criminal Courts of Justice two days later.

Church sacristy

Garda Joan O’Connor told prosecuting counsel John Quirke BL, that Mosley broke into the church sacristy during the afternoon and ransacked the room. He stole the monstrance and left fingerprints at the scene which were traced back to him. He was arrested six months later in the city.

Gda O’Connor said on 27 June last year two men were at Harmonstown Dart Station at midnight when Mosley came along, intoxicated, wearing sunglasses and carrying a pizza box and a bag of chips.

He produced a large kitchen knife and ordered the men to “give me your stuff”, while pointing the knife at them. One of the men handed over his mobile phone and Mosley ran off. He was later recognised from CCTV and arrested. He told gardai he “didn’t really remember” much about the night as he had been abusing alcohol and drugs.

Garda Eoin Kennedy told the court that Mosley went to a house in Edenmore where he claimed to know the brother of a teenager living there. The teenager let him into the porch of the house but Mosley, who appeared agitated, went upstairs looking for the teenager’s brother’s bedroom.

He grabbed an ornamental sword which was in the bedroom and when the teenager told him it was blunt, Mosley said, “I’ll still be able to stab you with it”.

Mosley then picked up an iPad but left it back as he couldn’t unlock it. He then fled on a stolen bicycle but left his phone charging in the bedroom.

Gda Kennedy said the defendant claimed the teenager’s brother owed him money, but this was not the case.

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Bail hearing

While in court on 15 January for a bail hearing in relation to the house burglary, Mosley made threatening gestures to Sergeant Basil Grimes by making the shape of a gun with his hand and pointing it to his head.

“He mouthed the word ‘boom’ while staring at Sergeant Grimes,” said Gda Kennedy. “He then said: ‘Bang, bang, bang, I’m going to put a bullet in your brain and I am going to take you away from your kids’.”

Defence counsel Pieter Le Vert BL said Mosley, who has two young children, wished to apologise to the Garda and his victims.

Mr Le Vert said Mosley made the threat to the sergeant in the wake of an unsuccessful bail hearing. “He said he felt Sgt Grimes took him away from his children but there was no substance to the threats,” he said.

Sentencing Mosley today Judge Elma Sheahan noted Mosley had a “sad and unfortunate” childhood. She said he now appeared to be drug-free but had been the subject of 88 disciplinary issues while in prison, including assaulting another prisoner and possessing contraband.

She sentenced him to seven years’ imprisonment but suspended the final 18 months.

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