TWO Portlaoise men were last week charged with stealing furniture from a house in Kilminchy which was left abandoned due to repossession.
Jason Donoghue, 41 Lakeside Gardens, Kilminchy, and Patrick McInerney, with addresses listed at 53 Lakeside Gardens, and 22 Slieve Bloom View, Borris-in-Ossory, were charged with the offence at 1 Lakeside Gardens on November 26 last year.
Garda Inspector Jarlaith Folan gave evidence that gardaí received a call of suspicious flashlight activity in the house on the night and a Ford transit van parked outside. When gardaí arrived they detected the van in the estate. After stopping the vehicle to speak with the men, gardai discovered there was a quantity of furniture in the back of the van which had been taken from 1 Lakeside Gardens, including chairs and other large items.
Defence for both men was Mr Philip Meagher. He said that there were a number of abandoned houses in the estate, due to repossessions, with skips located in the area for the purpose of removing unwanted items. Mr Meagher said his clients took a look in the house to see what they could take, with the intention of selling some items on.
The court heard that Donoghue, who has 20 previous convictions, was in breach of two suspended sentence imposed against him and he was due back at Nenagh Circuit Court. As a result, Judge Staines adjourned Donoghue’s case to May 3 to await the outcome of the Nenagh court.
Patrick McInerney also faced a charge of theft from Simpsons Gala, Main Street, Stradbally, on April 9 this year. Inspector Folan gave evidence that McInerney stole €10 of groceries. There was also a public order charge relating to September 10 last year.
In relation to the theft from Simpsons Gala, Mr Meagher said his client had engaged in a “spur of the moment act of madness” by stealing a number of Kit Kats from the shop when the assistant’s back was turned. Mr Meagher went on to say that McInerney suffered with depression and is engaging with Merchants Quay.
The defendent himself told Judge Staines that he is still abstaining from alcohol.
The judge remarked that it was up to him how things progressed from here and she put him on probation for 12 months. Conditions of his probation are that he must engage fully with the service, he must abstain from alcohol and he must continue working with his drugs counsellor.
Judge Staines warned him that if he breaches any of these conditions, he could face up to 18 months in prison.