Washing windows in lieu of comp

An Abbeyleix man convicted of three thefts who failed to provide compensation was last week told to do odd jobs for the injured parties.

An Abbeyleix man convicted of three thefts who failed to provide compensation was last week told to do odd jobs for the injured parties.

Gerard Hawkins, with addresses listed at 12 Gort na Noir, Abbeyleix, and Longford, was convicted in February on three counts of theft.

The court heard that between September 1 and September 3, 2012, Hawkins received €1,200 from an injured party in Ballinakill for electrical goods, such as a television, hoovers and an iPad, but he never came up with the goods.

He received an additional €1,150 from a separate injured party under similar circumstances.

At the February court, Judge Catherine Staines ordered him to pay €600 to each injured party.

When Hawkins returned to court last week, his solicitor, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said that her client had been unable to raise the compensation. She explained that Hawkins is on social welfare and has to pay rent, gas, electricity and bins.

“He explored every avenue to get the money,” Ms Fitzpatrick said, adding that Hawkins had contacted her office on a weekly basis asking for advice.

“He’s written a letter of apology to the injured parties, but he accepts that is cold comfort,” she said.

Ms Fitzpatrick said that Hawkins had been attempting a business venture, but he ran out of money and the injured parties were at a loss.

Judge Staines remarked that Hawkins did not have one penny in court with him for compensation.

“He’s had two years to get it, it doesn’t seem to me he’s shown any remorse,” said the judge. “He should have stayed at home and not spent a penny on anything.”

Judge Staines suggested to Inspector Aidan Farrelly that Hawkins could do some odd jobs for the injured parties instead.

“Ask the injured parties if there’s any kind of work they’d like done, washing windows, or anything,” she said. The matter was put back to September 19.