An out of work electrician who invaded a family home armed with a wheel brace in order to work off a drug debt has been jailed for six years.
Judge Melanie Greally said David Hogan (31) was acting “as an enforcer and a general dogs body” for persons further up the drug dealing hierarchy.
On March 22nd, 2021, Hogan and another man went to a family home at The Gallops, Leopardstown and pushed their way inside.
Hogan was armed with a wheel brace and was shouting at the homeowners that their son “had his stuff” and “they’re going to kill me, where is he”.
Six days later, Hogan and two other men returned to the house and tried to get inside but the woman living there managed to keep the door closed.
Hogan was shouting “I want your son” and one of the other men damaged a car at the property, smashing the window, headlight and the bonnet.
The same day, gardaí went to Russell Crescent, Tallaght where Hogan was sleeping on a coach.
During a search, gardaí found over €45,000 of drugs at the property, including €19,498 worth of cocaine and just under €24,000 worth of cannabis.
Hogan, of no fixed abode and residing in the Tallaght area, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to aggravated burglary at The Gallops, Leopardstown, on March 22nd, 2021.
He also pleaded guilty to burglary at the same address in Leopardstown and possession of drugs for sale or supply at Russell Crescent, Tallaght, both on March 28th, 2021.
He has 38 previous convictions, including convictions for possession of drugs for sale or supply and criminal damage.
Detective Garda Des Molloy agreed with Dean Kelly SC, defending, that his client lived a normal life until he was 25, when a drink-driving conviction resulted in the loss of his driving licence, which subsequently led to him losing his job.
The detective agreed with counsel that his client engaged in very substantial drug use and had amassed debts. He further agreed that Hogan was entrusted to carry out a task, but was not at the top of the drug chain.
Passing sentence on Wednesday afternoon, Judge Greally said the burglaries involved a high level of threat and aggression.
She said while there was no victim impact report there was evidence that the family felt intimidated, were constantly afraid and, as a result, kept their grandchildren away from the house.
She said Hogan had lived a conventional life into his 20s and had worked successfully as a qualified electrician. She added that she accepted his life had unravelled and he became indebted and at the mercy of others.
“But he was prepared to carry out the most distasteful of tasks for persons further up the hierarchy,” she said.
The judge imposed an eight-year sentence, suspending the final two years after taking into consideration his guilty pleas and the remorse and insight expressed by Hogan.
She backdated the sentence to March 31st, 2021 when Hogan went into custody.