No comp saved so community service imposed

A Portlaoise man convicted of stealing a copper cylinder from a house who failed to pay court ordered compensation was last week given community service in lieu of prison.

A Portlaoise man convicted of stealing a copper cylinder from a house who failed to pay court ordered compensation was last week given community service in lieu of prison.

At last week’s sitting of Portlaoise District Court, solicitor Mr Philip Meagher explained that Seamus Coss, formerly of Portlaoise but currently residing in the care of the Simon Community in Tullamore, did not have the €800 compensation as he is on social welfare of €144 per week. This amount is due to increase to €184 in the coming weeks, Mr Meagher said.

Mr Meagher also said that Coss had completed 100 hours of the community service imposed on him by the court.

Judge Catherine Staines last week imposed a further 90 hours’ community service on Coss, in lieu of three months in prison.

Coss was convicted in April of the burglary, and entering a building with intent to commit an offence. The offences were committed at 25 Emmet Street, Mountmellick, in March of this year.

Evidence was given at the district court in April that gardaí received a complaint of intruders entering the premises on March 25, while the house was empty.

The gardaí went to the address and found Coss asleep on a mattress. He admitted entering the house on March 22 and removing copper pipes and a cylinder, causing €800 damage.

Mr Meagher claimed that Coss had taken the cylinder and sold it on for €20, as he had not eaten for five days and needed the money to feed himself.

Coss had 35 previous convictions.

At the April court, Judge Staines imposed 200 hours’ community service in lieu of ten months in prison, and ordered Coss to pay €800 compensation.