Made off after meals without payment

A six-month prison sentence has been imposed on a 57-year-old Kildare man who made off from eateries and public houses without paying for his food and drink.

Before last week’s Portlaoise District Court was Ronald Mackey, Ballytore Hill, Ballytore, Kildare, charged with two counts of making off without payment.

Inspector Aidan Farrelly gave evidence that on May 13 this year, at Lethean, Main Street, Portlaoise, Mackey ordered food and drink valued at €23.90 and left without paying.

He committed a similar offence on May 24, at the Maldron Hotel, Abbeyleix Road, Portlaoise, where he ordered dinner and three pints of Carlsberg. He consumed the items and left without paying.

There was also a charge of failing to meet his bail, on May 15.

Mackey was arrested before last week’s court (Thursday, June 12), on the foot of three bench warrants. The court heard that there were further charges against him for making off without payment, for which he was to be sent to the Criminal Courts of Justice (CCJ).

Judge Catherine Staines noted that on May 11, it was alleged he had entered a hotel and had a meal which he did not pay for. He allegedly did the same thing on May 12, and was eventually arrested on May 15 in Limerick, after he allegedly took four cans of Bulmers Cider at a licensed premises.

Mackey had 14 previous convictions, and is currently serving a five-month sentence.

Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick admitted Mackey’s offending followed a repetitive pattern. She said he had a drink problem which he had failed to take in hand.

“He’s the first to admit he has an over-reliance on drink,” said Ms Fitzpatrick.

Judge Staines imposed a six-month sentence, with recognisance fixed in the event of an appeal.

Mackey was due to appear at the CCJ last Friday (June 13), and then Limerick Court yesterday (June 16).


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