Portlaoise man who robbed pharmacies begins 'journey' to rehabilitation

Portlaoise man who robbed pharmacies begins 'journey' to rehabilitation

A Portlaoise man convicted of robbing two local pharmacies was granted bail before Christmas having become drug free after spending time in custody.

Before Portlaoise Circuit Court was Patrick Lawless (35), with an address at Cherrygrove, Portlaoise.

State prosecutor, Mr Will Fennelly gave evidence that on February 12, 2016, the accused committed an offence at Breslins Pharmacy, Portlaoise; and on February 13, he committed a burglary at Hughes Pharmacy, Portlaoise.

There were other matters relating to drugs offences during 2015, both possession and having drugs for sale.

The accused was arraigned and entered guilty pleas to the offences at the circuit court in December 2016 and then evidence was heard in June of last year.

In June, Judge Keenan Johnson said he had concerns about the accused’s methadone use and adjourned the matters for reports, with the accused going into custody.

When the case returned to the circuit court recently, Judge Johnson noted that the probation report on the accused was very positive.

Lawless himself told the court that he is now providing clean urinalysis.

Barrister for the accused, Mr Rory Hannify said his client had been using his time in custody very well and taken significant steps. He is now in the drug-free wing of prison.

Judge Johnson said he would grant bail to the accused, on condition he avail of a place in a hostel to attend daycare, he remain drug-free, and he engage with the Cuan Mhuire programme for drug addiction.

“The Christmas period is going to be the biggest test you have, if you pass that you should have nothing to worry about,” the judge told him.

The matter was adjourned to January 9, for a probation report and urinalysis. The accused entered a peace bond of €500 to keep the peace.

Said the accused: “The journey begins now, your honour.”