A PORTLAOISE man convicted of breaking into cars who had not saved compensation in the two years since committing the offences was ordered by Judge Catherine Staines to pay the full amount before the end of last week’s district court sitting.
Daniel Quigley, Straboe, Portlaoise, faced two counts of criminal damage, a charge of theft, and a charge of possessing an article with the intent to commit a crime, at Kiln Lane, Mountrath, on March 24, 2011.
Garda Addhan O’Flaithearta gave evidence that Quigley and another man attempted to break into a white Honda Civic at 8am. They did not gain entry, but caused damage costing €397.
200 metres further up, Quigley smashed the window of a van and stole a phone charger. He caused damage costing €147.55 to the vehicle.
Quigley was observed by the owners of the vehicles and the gardaí were called. When Garda O’Flaithearta found Quigley on the town’s Main Street, the defendant had a screwdriver on his person.
Quigley has 23 previous convictions.
Defence, Mr Philip Meagher said that the offences had been committed in broad daylight, as the injured parties were getting up for work. Mr Meagher said that his client had been “legless between drink and sleeping tablets” on the day.
Garda O’Flaithearta agreed that Quigley had been “fairly incoherent”.
Mr Meagher said that Quigley has since got his life together and will soon be trying for an Irish title in kickboxing. Defence went on to say that Quigley had €100 in court to offer as compensation.
“He’s had difficulty with his social welfare,” said Mr Meagher.
“In two years, you’ve saved just €100?” an incredulous Judge Catherine Staines asked Quigley.
Mr Meagher replied that Quigley had been on “a very bad path” of drugs and alcohol, but has since become clean.
Judge Staines ordered that Quigley pay €550 compensation before the end of court. When his case was recalled after lunch, Quigley paid the money over.
Judge Staines applied the probation act.