Judge orders four man Romanian gang to leave the state

A four- man Romanian gang who were caught with items used to commit burglaries have been given seven days to leave, the country, at Donegal Town Circuit Court.

The court heard the gang had details on businesses in Dungloe, Gortahork, Belmullet, County Mayo and Turloughmore, County Galway when their car was stopped at Tullyearl, Laghey on the sixth of January.

Judge John Aylmer jailed 29-year-old Marian Bucar, 27-year-old George Panait, 45-year-old Stefan Serbu and 24-year-old Lulan Vlad with an address at 60 Auburn Drive, Castleknock for a year, back-dated to when they went into custody on January 6.

He suspended the balance of the sentence provided they left the jurisdiction within seven days and ordered all four to enter into a bond to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a period of a year.

The judge jailed George Panait for two months concurrent for driving with no insurance and banned him from driving for two years.

The court was told that Marian Bukar was serving another sentence arising out of the matter before the court.

His release date was September 18 and the judge ordered that he leave the country seven days after that date.

In passing sentence Judge John Aylmer said it was excellent police work that detected the defendants.

They were ready "to commit a very professional burglary and the list of four commercial premises made it plain what this criminal gang was about".

All four pleaded guilty to charges that in a vehicle at Tullyearl, Laghey, County Donegal, having a sledgehammer, one nail bar, three pairs of gloves, three beany hats, two walkie talkies, two pencil torches, one piece of rope, a roll of refuse bags, three large screwdrivers, and a socket set with the intention that it be used in the course of or in connection with the theft/burglary/an offence under Section 6 or Seven of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001 at Donegal Town Garda Station on January 6.

Detective Garda Mark Deavin told the court he stopped a Black Audi that was driving at speed on January 6 and initially carried out a suspected drugs charge.

This proved negative and all four were brought to Donegal Town Garda station.

Three of them were wearing double layered clothing and the stated items were found.

Lulan Vlad had details of businesses in Dungloe, Gortahork, Belmullet and Turloughmore, the court heard.

When questioned the defendants said they were going to Derry looking for work.

When the address given in Dublin for the "gang of four" was checked it was found to be an address of convenience for "Rumanian criminals" and the four defendants were not living there.

They had only been on the country for around a week.

Counsel for the four defendants, Damian Crawford, Peter Nolan Keith O'Grady and Sean McGee told the court that all four had been co-operative had no previous convictions and the guilty pleas had spared the State a long and complex trial.

It was submitted that the court had the option of an Exclusion Order for all four defendants.

In passing sentence Judge John Aylmer said it was excellent police work that detected the defendants.

They were ready "to commit a very professional burglary and the list of four commercial premises made it plain what this criminal gang was about".

The judge said the defendants had no previous convictions and the State would have had great difficulty in proving their intent had the matter gone to trial.

Each of them had made a "valuable plea of guilty".