Court - Portlaoise man found in stolen car twice

Accused appealed conviction so court could not activate suspended sentence

Court - Portlaoise man found in stolen car twice

A Portlaoise man was found in a stolen car the day after he was granted High Court bail on a similar charge, but the State was last week unable to have a suspended sentence activated against him due to his having appealed a prison sentence.

An application was made at the circuit court to reactivate a suspended sentence against Trevor McAleer, Portlaoise.

Detective Garda Gerard Galwey gave evidence that the accused received a four-year sentence in May, 2015, with the final two years suspended on a number of conditions.

He was released from custody on December 28, 2016.

On January 6 this year, in Ennis, Det Galwey said McAleer was found slumped over the wheel of a stolen car, with the key in the ignition. There was allegedly drug paraphernalia in the car, said Det Galwey, as well property taken during a burglary in Abbeyleix on January 2.

The detective also said that 600 to 700 tablets were found. These are pending analysis.

The accused was remanded in custody, then later granted High Court bail on February 15.

Det Galwey said that the following day, February 16, the accused was a passenger in a stolen vehicle which crashed in Borris in Ossory.

On February 17, the accused appeared in court where he contested the charges against him. He was found guilty and sentenced to 16 months in jail, which he subsequently appealed.

Judge Keenan Johnson said he could not activate the suspended sentence as the accused had appealed the conviction.

Judge Keenan Johnson noted: “He was found in a car with tablets, the car was stolen, and he goes and gets bail and is then found as a passenger in a stolen car. It’s an extraordinary set of circumstances.”

Barrister, Ms Geraldine Fitzpatrick said her client has appealed the Ennis offences, and there was no prosecution against him yet for the tablets.

Tthe State withdrew the application to reactivate the suspended sentence.