A Stradbally man training as an apprentice mechanic thought a pair of pruning shears he had stolen was actually a tin cutter.
So said the defence solicitor for Francis Mullen, Ballymaddock, Stradbally, charged with theft from TK Maxx, Kyle Shopping Centre, Portlaoise, on January 30 this year.
Inspector Aidan Farrelly said that CCTV footage from the store was viewed and the defendant was then contacted by gardaí.
Mullen attended at Portlaoise Garda Station where he returned a pair of pruning shears, valued at €8.99, that he had stolen from the store.
Mullen had four previous convictions.
Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick admitted it had been a very foolish act.
She said Mullen entered the shop and thought the item was a tin cutter. She explained that Mullen was an apprentice mechanic and would have had use for the item. She said he appreciated the seriousness of the offence, as he had contact with tools himself every day in his work.
Ms Fitzpatrick said that Mullen had €50 in court, by way of compensation to TK Maxx.
She concluded by saying that all of Mullen’s previous convictions were for offences under the road traffic act.
Judge Catherine Staines ordered that the money be handed over and she applied the probation act, section 1.1.