In sentencing a thief to ten months in prison at last week’s district court Judge Catherine Staines said she had every sympathy for the man’s heroin addiction but she had a duty to protect the public from having their homes broken into or property stolen.
Before the court was Luke O’Grady, with an address at 5 McMahon’s Flats, French Church Street, Portarlington.
Garda Gerard Galwey gave evidence that O’Grady entered a car on Main Street Portlaoise on Christmas Day last, and took a black iPod and loose change.
On January 13 this year, O’Grady broke through the front shutter of the Rosecourt Filling Station, Portarlington, and removed cash.
On February 2, at Forest View, Bog Lane, Portarlington, O’Grady attempted to break into parked cars. He was later arrested and searched, and found to have two pairs of gloves on his person. On that same date, he was disturbed during the burglary of a house, in which money and a camera were stolen.
The court also heard from Inspector Declan Dunne, that O’Grady entered a house at Fox Court, Portarlington, on January 17 and took a handbag and a set of car keys. He then took the car and was later observed walking to the stolen vehicle.
O’Grady was also seen entering the curtilage of a house while wearing a balaclava at Sandy Lane, Portarlington, on January 18.
He had 36 previous convictions.
Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said that her client had been attending Coote Street for his drug addiction, but coming up to Christmas he missed his appointment to get methadone for the Christmas period and so committed crimes to feed his habit.
“He was in the grip of a heroin addiction,” said defence, adding that O’Grady hopes to relocate to a different county.
“I have every sympathy for someone suffering with a heroin addiction, but I have to protect the public,” said Judge Staines, imposing a ten-month sentence.