A PORTARLINGTON man charged with handling stolen property admitted to last week’s District Court that three gold rings he traded in at a Cash for Gold shop had been given to him by “a dangerous man”.
In the case of Michael Flynn, 1 Huguenot House, French Church Street, Portarlington, Judge Catherine Staines complimented the gardaí’s good detective work which had led to the recovery of the stolen rings.
Inspector Martin Harrington gave evidence that Flynn took the three rings to Copa Jewellers, Laois Shopping Centre, Portlaoise, on October 5 last year. Flynn received €95 at the store for the items. When later questioned by gardaí, he said that he had found the rings.
The court heard that the rings had been stolen from 8 Lakeglen, Portlaoise, on October 4. A box of jewellery was taken from the kitchen of the house, along with a Playstation 3 and a coat. The total value of goods taken was €2,500, with the three 9-carat gold rings listed as the most valuable items with a combined cost of between €1,200 and €1,300.
The rings were recovered when Garda Masterson met with the owner of the Cash for Gold shop. The court was told that the garda regularly visited the store to go through inventory and having identified the stolen items, Garda Masterson checked CCTV footage to identify Flynn.
“It was good detective work,” remarked Judge Staines.
Through his solicitor, Mr Philip Meagher, Flynn initially claimed to the court that he had found the three rings in a plastic bag. However, when Judge Staines made it clear she did not believe his story, Flynn admitted he had been given the rings by “a dangerous man”.
“I can’t say who he is,” Flynn said. “He gave me the rings and I cashed them for him.”
Mr Meagher told Judge Staines that his client was “vulnerable to suggestion” and he asked the judge to take into account the “spirit of openness” Flynn had displayed in court.
Judge Staines said that it was due to good detective work that the injured party had got her rings back and she remarked that if it wasn’t for people handling stolen property burglaries would be more difficult to commit.
Flynn, who has 27 previous convictions, was sentenced to four months in prison.