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Burglar who left blood at scene of crime jailed for 18 months

By Brion Hoban

A man who was connected to a burglary by the blood he left at the scene after breaking a window to gain entry has been jailed for 18 months.

Robert Hedderman (37) was on bail at the time of this burglary for another burglary committed on Christmas Day 2016, during which he damaged furniture and electronic devices while also urinating throughout the house.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that he is currently serving a three-and-a-half year sentence of imprisonment for the burglary committed in 2016.

Hedderman of no fixed abode with a former address at Kilmartin Drive, Tallaght, pleaded guilty to burglary at an industrial building at Cookstown Court, Tallaght, on July 12, 2019.

He has 51 previous convictions, including 10 convictions for burglary. He also has convictions for robbery, criminal damage, possession of knives and public order offences.

Garda John Ryan told Aideen Collard BL, prosecuting, that in the early hours of the morning on the date in question, the manager of the building arrived to find one of the downstairs shutters up and a smashed window.

Gda Ryan said six laptops with a total combined value of €9,000 had been stolen from the building.

Samples were taken by crime scene analysts from blood which was found on the broken window and on shards of glass on the floor.

A DNA profile was generated from the blood, which was matched to an existing DNA profile of Hedderman and he was arrested. The laptops were never recovered.

Gda Ryan agreed with Emer Ní Chúagáin BL, defending, that the premises was an industrial building which was unoccupied at the time of the burglary.

The garda agreed with counsel that her client was originally from the Tallaght area, but at the time of the offence he was living rough in the proximity in a tent.

Ms Ní Chúagáin said her client was homeless from a young age.

She said he began using drugs aged 16 and progressed quickly to using heroin.

Counsel said her client has been working as a cleaner while in custody, a position he has held throughout the Covid period.

Judge Melanie Greally said Hedderman has a long history of criminal offending dating back to 2003. She said he has a significant number of burglary offences and was on bail for a burglary offence at the time of this offence.

The judge noted the accused man has two daughters with whom he has not had contact of “a face to face nature” since his going into custody in December 2019.

Judge Greally sentenced Hedderman to three years imprisonment, but suspended the final 18 months of the sentence on strict conditions.

She ordered that the sentence run consecutive to the sentence of three-and-a-half years imprisonment Hedderman is currently serving, which was imposed in December 2019.

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