A man who stole from a women’s changing room, while on bail for stealing from a whiskey museum, has been jailed for six years.
Jonathan Grimes (33) was on bail for an earlier burglary when he twice broke into Bewley’s cafe in Dublin City centre on separate occasions.
Grimes of Rutland Street, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary at the Irish Whiskey Museum, Grafton Street, Dublin 2, on February 8, 2019.
He also pleaded guilty to two burglaries at Bewley’s, Grafton Street, Dublin 2, on February 23rd, 2019 and March 6th, 2019 respectively. He has 161 previous convictions, including convictions for burglary, robbery and theft.
Garda Jack McGovern told Maurice Coffey SC, prosecuting, that on the first date in February, Grimes entered the museum and made his way to a private area of the building, where he stole a tablet worth approximately €300.
Grimes was identified by gardaí on CCTV footage, arrested and charged with the offence. The court heard that he committed the two later burglaries while on bail for the first.
Gda McGovern said that on the later date in February, Grimes entered Bewley’s café and went into a female changing room, where he stole a cash belt.
Grimes then returned to the café on the date in March, on this occasion accompanied by another man. The two men stole a bottle of gin and a laptop with an approximate value of €1,500.
None of the property stolen during any of the burglaries has been recovered.
Gda McGovern agreed with Katherine McGillicuddy BL, defending, that her client did not come across anyone during the burglaries. He accepted that Grimes did not specifically target the female changing room in the café.
Ms McGillicuddy said her client began experimenting with cannabis before moving onto pills and eventually heroin. She said she could not say that he is currently drug free.
Counsel said he is the father of a 10-year-old boy with whom he has an ongoing relationship.
Judge Elma Sheahan said the case was aggravated by the seriousness of the offences, the accused’s previous convictions for similar offences and his being on bail for the two café burglaries.
Judge Sheahan said she took into account his guilty plea and accepted he was remorseful. She remarked that while she accepted Grimes did not confront anyone during the burglaries, she said this was more down to luck than any action on his part.
She sentenced Grimes to four years imprisonment for the museum burglary. She also sentenced him to three years imprisonment and four years imprisonment respectively for the two café burglaries, which she ordered to run concurrent to each other.
Judge Sheahan then ordered that the two later sentences run consecutive to the earlier sentence, resulting in an operating sentence of eight years imprisonment. She suspended the final two years of this sentence on strict conditions.