Business compensated out of court poor box for theft

Mr Philip Meagher, Portlaoise solicitor.

Mr Philip Meagher, Portlaoise solicitor.

A local business was last week given money out of the court poor box as reimbursement for goods stolen by a heroin addict.

Judge Catherine Staines made the order at last week’s sitting of the Portlaoise District Court, in the case of Brian McDonagh, with an address listed at 48 The Stables, Dublin Road, Navan.

McDonagh was charged with theft from the Medical Hall, O’Loughlin’s Pharmacy, Portlaoise, on December 4, 2012.

Inspector Aidan Farrelly gave evidence that McDonagh entered the store and took a men’s gift set from the shelves and left without paying.

The value of the gift set was €74, and the item was not recovered.

When arrested, McDonagh said he had stolen the item to feed his own drug habit.

He has a long list of previous convictions, including 22 for theft. His most recent conviction was in August of this year, when he was given a three-month suspended sentence for three counts of theft.

Defence, Mr Philip Meagher said that McDonagh is well known to the court, as is his partner, Lisa Shorten.

“The relationship was self destructive, as they were both heavily addicted to heroin,” said Mr Meagher.

Defence said that on the day of the offence, McDonagh had been extremely ill from the effects of heroin and had taken the item to a get another fix of the drug.

Judge Staines inquired whether McDonagh had since made any payment to the store for the stolen item. Mr Meagher replied that his client’s social welfare has not yet been sorted out.

Judge Staines noted that the offence had occurred over a year ago, when McDonagh had an entrenched heroin addiction. Since receiving the suspended sentence in August, he has not come to any garda attention.

“I won’t interfere with his treatment,” said the judge, applying the probation act.

Judge Staines also ruled that €75 from the poor box would go to the Medical Hall as compensation.

McDonagh’s partner, Lisa Shorten, of 56 College View, Mountmellick, was also listed at last week’s court sitting.

She was charged with threatening or abusive behaviour, at James Fintan Lalor Avenue, Portlaoise, on November 16 this year.

The matter has gone back to January, 2014.


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