A man who pleaded guilty to entering a family home and damaging a garda van has a profound gambling problem, according to his solicitor.
At Tralee District Court, 41-year-old Trevor O'Callaghan of Basin Court, Tralee pleaded guilty to entering a house in Ballycarty, Ballymacelligott and causing criminal damage to a garda patrol van.
The court heard that Trevor O'Callaghan entered the home on December 14th last.
The family observed him standing in the hallway and he fled the scene on a bike.
The father followed him in a car, gardaí were notified, and he was arrested in Manor West.
Mr O'Callaghan became violent and kicked Perspex glass in the garda patrol van.
Trevor O'Callaghan has 131 previous convictions, mainly for burglaries.
His solicitor Pádraig O'Connell said his client didn't break into the family home but had walked in, nor was he masked. He'd left the scene on a bike, never pretending to be Stephen Roche, while followed by the father in a car.
Mr O'Connell said his client's inclination for money to gamble is profound, he'd sought an opportunity on that night, but had no intention to scare anyone and was extremely contrite.
Judge David Waters said a young family had been confronted, that it was a serious matter to enter a home, and at that time of night.
He said Trevor O'Callaghan had an appalling record but gave him credit for his guilty plea so that witnesses didn't have to give evidence. He imposed a 10-month sentence, reduced to seven, and backdated to December 14th.
On solicitor Pádraig O'Connell's application, Mr O'Callaghan was not referred to the circuit court to activate part of a previous suspended sentence.