A drunken intruder has narrowly avoided jail for a set of ‘bizarre’ late night escapades to a franchised car dealership.
Keith Connolly, 40, was twice seen enterring the premises of Denis Mahony Motors in the dead if night in the space of just three weeks, despite having no connection to the dealership whatsoever.
A court heard that he had been ‘drinking morning, noon and night’ and had ‘no clear motive’ for his visits.
Dublin District Court heard that the construction worker was spotted trespassing and acting suspiciously before fleeing when the alarm was raised.
He has now admitted to trespassing in a manner likely to cause fear and was sentenced earlier this week.
Judge John Hughes heard that the first incident took place on June 22, 2022 when Connolly was so drunk he was ‘almost sleepwalking’.
The defendant was filmed by security cameras walking around the cars and acting suspiciously before running away at the sound of the alarm.
Less than a month later, on July 12, he once again returned to the site after a day’s drinking.
On the second occasion he was was seen moving in between vehicles and appeared to interfere with a CCTV camera.
The Irish Independent reports that staff became alarmed at this and alerted the authorities.
The following night, officers from the Garda Síochána (the national police and security service of Ireland) spotted him once again hanging around outside the dealership and Connolly was arrested for trespassing.
Speaking in defence of the 40-year-old in court, his lawyer said that his client made no attempt to conceal himself and was not carrying anything which could be used to used to break into the showroom.
He told the judge that the defendant, who had 39 previous convictions, had been going through a difficult period at the time due to the break-up of his relationship.
However, he conceded that Connolly’s behaviour was ‘bizarre’ and that ‘he simply can’t explain what he was doing’.
The Garda accepted that there had been no attempt to gain access to the vehicles or look for any cash at the dealership.
After hearing all the evidence, Judge Hughes handed the defendant a six-month suspended sentence.