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Serial criminal to be sentenced tomorrow for van theft and house break-in

A "prolific“ criminal who admitted stealing a van and burglary of a house will be sentenced tomorrow after he was turned away from Drug Treatment Court.

Dean O’Brien, 60, pleaded guilty last year to taking a van without the owner’s consent in December 2020 and stealing $7,350 worth of items from a house in Warwick in August 2021.

The court heard that the van’s owner had parked the vehicle outside her daughter’s home on Woodstock Hill, Paget, on December 2, 2020.

The owner left the $10,000 van unlocked with the keys inside the vehicle.

The van was gone the next morning and the owner called police, who traced it to Cobbs Hill in Warwick.

O’Brien’s fingerprints were later found on the driver’s door.

Magistrates’ Court also heard that O’Brien had climbed into the Warwick home through a bathroom window on August 12 last year and stolen three watches, a mobile phone and a pair of shoes.

Police discovered O’Brien’s fingerprints and palm prints on the toilet, which was below the bathroom window.

Officers went to the Salvation Army Shelter in Pembroke, where O’Brien had been staying, and found the stolen shoes under his bed.

O’Brien was referred to the Drug Treatment Court programme last October, but Magistrates’ Court was told he was sent back because he was not suitable.

The prosecution said O’Brien had a long criminal record, including a string of burglary and theft convictions, and recommended a sentence of between 18 and 24 months for the burglary charge and nine months for the van theft.

But Patricia Harvey, the duty counsel, asked the court for time to look further into O’Brien’s situation.

Magistrate Craig Attridge adjourned the case until Friday and remanded O’Brien in custody.

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