A man who stole two hoodies and a quantity of meat was given a six month prison sentence.
PJ O’Shea 29, of 20 O’Moore Place, Portlaoise admitted stealing two Nike hoodies valued at €110 from Lifestyle Sports in Portlaoise on March 3. He also admitted stealing meat worth €70 from Supervalu in Lyster Square on March 3 and meat to the value of €80 from the same store on March 1.
Sgt JJ Kirby said the defendant got the meat from the butcher counter and left without paying. He selected the two Nike hoodies in Lifestyle sports and left without paying. The goods weren’t recovered.
Solicitor Philip Meagher said his client was 29 years of age and had no dependents. “He has had an ongoing battle with drugs since his early teens,” he told the court. Although he has had “good intervals” between substance abuse, Mr Meagher said the defendant tends to fall into “a sad cycle” of relapsing.
In relation to the meat thefts, Mr Meagher said, “they were simply taken to convert into cash to feed a habit.” He described his client as “somewhat of a pathetic figure” who could be found begging around Portlaoise. However, Mr Meagher said “he did complete a detox in prison. He tells me he is clean.”
Mr Meagher said the prison regime has “been very difficult for inmates generally” with Covid restrictions impacting the shop, gym and exercise yards. “He does tell me again that he is willing to take help when he gets out,” Mr Meagher told Judge Patricia Cronin. “He really needs a long term residential place but he has to commit to that,” added Mr Meager. He asked Judge Patricia Cronin to consider structuring any sentence in such a way that his client would get treatment.
Judge Patricia Cronin sentenced the man to six months in prison with the final month suspended on condition that he engage with the probation services for 12 months.
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