Community service and probation reports have been ordered on a Laois man who committed numerous thefts over a two-week period, stealing such items as men’s toiletries and a mop for steaming floors.
Before last week’s district court in Portlaoise was Noel Carroll, formerly of 16 Jessop Street, Portlaoise, and now living in Mount Eagle, Ballyroan.
He was charged with two counts of theft on January 17, one from Boots, Laois Shopping Centre, and one from Tesco, Portlaoise.
He was also charged with two thefts on January 31, one from the 2 Euro Shop, Lyster Square, Portlaoise, and one from MI Health, Kyle Shopping Centre, Portlaoise. He also faced two charges of making gain by deception on January 31, at TK Maxx, Kyle Shopping Centre, Portlaoise.
Inspector John Lawless gave evidence that Carroll entered Tesco on January 17 and lifted a steam mop from the shelf, which he then brought to the customer desk and asked for a refund. As he had no receipt the shop assistant went to get the manager, at which point Carroll left the store with the mop, which was valued at €129.
On the same day, Carroll entered Boots and took a number of items without paying, including shaving gel, razors, shower gel and cotton buds. The total cost was €16.10. He was later identified from CCTV footage and the property was not recovered.
On January 31, Carroll attempted to get a refund on cutlery and other unsold items at TK Maxx, to a value of €46.98 and €30.
He also stole four Lynx cans worth €12 from MI Health, and a bottle of Febreze from the 2 Euro Shop.
Carroll had two previous convictions, including a drink driving offence.
Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick admitted her client was at risk of a custodial sentence.
She said that some of the stolen items had been recovered and some of them had not, although the steam mop had been recovered. She explained that Carroll had since reimbursed Boots but the management at TK Maxx had refused to accept his offer of reimbursement.
Ms Fitzpatrick went on to say that Carroll is bipolar and is currently on a methadone programme and is attending Coote Street clinic in Portlaoise. She produced letters from Coote Street and from Carroll’s doctor to hand into the court.
“He was financially strained at the time and was trying to put money aside to pay rent,” she said, adding that Carroll had been discharged from his job after his employer discovered he had a heroin problem.
Judge Staines remanded Carroll on continual bail to April 3, for a community service report and a probation report.