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DPP Argues Increased Jail Time For Rural Criminals

In what is observed as a landmark judgement, the Criminal Court of Appeal has almost doubled two jail sentences handed down to cousins, who went on a burglary spree on the Tipperary border, in Co. Limerick.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has successfully contended that a three and a half year sentence, handed down individually to both men involved in rural crime; was unduly lenient.

The criminals named as Mr Michael Casey, aged 34, with an address at Clonlong Halting Site in Southill, Co. Limerick, and his cousin Mr David Casey, aged 23, with an address at Carragh Park, Belcamp, Co. Dublin had both pleaded guilty to a series of burglaries, including one at the residence of Mr John O’Donoghue, latter with an address at Toomaline, Doon, Co Limerick; latter village just 8 minutes drive (6.6 kilometres or 4 miles), from the Tipperary border, on August 27th, 2015.

On discovering the thieves in his home, Mr O’Donoghue had collapsed and died, as he was about to confront both intruders; latter who then ran away without offering assistance.
Both men were sentenced following their crime in December of 2016 to four-and-a-half years imprisonment with the final year suspended. Following the appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions, this sentence has now been increased to six years and four months for each offender.

Giving his judgement, Mr Justice George Birmingham stated that the late Mr O’Donoghue had been living with his sister and on that August day in question, both had gone shopping to Tipperary town. On returning home that same afternoon, they had noticed a black car across the road and the gate to their property wide open. It became evident also that their front door had been broken.

When Mr O’Donogue collapsed, attempting to confront the intruders, his sister had called on the both men to grant assistance, but no help had been forthcoming from either individual.

The court went on also to suggest sentences of between four and nine years for mid-range offences going forward, and up to 14 years for those at the highest range of similar committed crime.

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