Court

Laois man stole car while heavily intoxicated

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Laois man stole car while heavily intoxicated

Laois man stole car while heavily intoxicated

A Portlaoise man who decided to steal a car while heavily intoxicated has been put on probation, with the district court judge directing compensation be paid to the injured party out of the court poor box.

Before last week's sitting of Portlaoise District Court was Andrew Murphy, 24, with an address at 10 Lakeglen, Portlaoise, charged with the unauthorised taking of an MPV, at 81 Clonroosk Abbey, Portlaoise, on September 11 last year.

When the case first came before the court in February, Sgt Jason Hughes gave evidence that on September 11, the accused took the car without permission. The injured party and the accused were not known to each other, he said.

The accused made full admissions to gardaí and the car was recovered.

The accused had ten previous convictions.

Defence, Mr Barry Fitzgerald said the accused was a father of five whose marriage had fallen apart, so he took to drugs and alcohol, becoming acutely addicted to benzodiazepines.

Mr Fitzgerald said the accused was heavily intoxicated during the offence and made a reckless decision to take the car.

He said the accused was on social welfare and could not offer compensation.

Judge Staines asked was there any damage caused to the car, but the accused himself informed her that the car had been “left ticking over” when he stole it.

Judge Staines asked him was he off all drugs now, to which the accused replied he was off benzodiazepines but is still smoking cannabis.

The matter was then adjourned by Judge Staines to June, for a victim impact report, probation report and community service report.

When the case returned to court last week, Judge Staines placed the accused on 12 months’ probation.

She also directed that €2,000 compensation go to the injured party from the court poor box, as the injured party had lost his car on the day and also lost out on work.