‘Thorn in the side’ asks the local court to sentence him

Mr Philip Meagher, Portlaoise solicitor.

Mr Philip Meagher, Portlaoise solicitor.

A Port man with an entrenched heroin problem who was charged with numerous burglaries asked Judge Catherine Staines to put him in prison so he could get treatment for his addiction.

Jason Carroll, 45 Kilmalogue, Portarlington, appeared before a recent sitting of Portlaoise District Court.

Inspector Aidan Farrelly gave evidence that on February 12 this year, two men were observed in the rear of Kelly’s, Market Square, Portarlington. Carroll had climbed over the fencing and was removing a copper cylinder from the premises. The property was recovered.

Also on that date, Carroll committed a burglary at Fletcher’s Newsagent, Portarlington. He smashed the front window of the shop and stole 20 packets of assorted cigarettes, and was subsequently identified from CCTV footage.

Between February 23/24, Carroll broke into Right Price Fuels, Portarlington, by forcible entry through the rear of the building, and stole 120 bales of briquettes, of which 60 bales were subsequently recovered. He also stole washing powder valued at €10.

On that same date, Carroll broke into the Laois Hospice building on French Church Street, Port, and stole €5.

Carroll had 23 previous convictions.

Defence, Mr Philip Meagher said that Carroll had suffered with a “long term and entrenched heroin addiction”, which at its height saw Carroll using three bags of the drug a day.

“His life was chaotic. He was homeless and was sleeping on the odd couch here and there,” said Mr Meagher. “These crimes were motivated by his need for drugs, the things stolen were converted into cash.

“He’s very anxious to deal with the problem, otherwise he could kill himself due to his addiction,” continued defence. “He wants to be sentenced and get some care.”

Mr Meagher went on to describe Carroll as “a thorn in the side of the community”, and said Carroll wished to apologise for his actions.

Judge Catherine Staines imposed a 12 month sentence, and suspended the last four months for one year for Carroll to remain under the supervision of the probation service.

A separate charge of drink driving was contested by Carroll, and was adjourned for hearing to June 27.


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