A homeless man who provided the district court with a Portlaoise address has been sentenced to jail having been convicted of breaking into premises in Abbeyleix.
Before the court was Keith Kilroy, 47, of 104 Maryborough, Mountrath Road, Portlaoise.
Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that on May 29 last, the accused broke into McEvoys, Abbeyleix, by breaking the glass in the rear door which caused €500 damage. He then stole €500 cash from the premises.
Between May 27 and May 29, the accused trespassed on a premises on Abbeyleix Main Street by breaking a window; and he also stole cash from a car on the Ballacolla Road, Abbeyleix.
The accused had 102 previous convictions, including 32 thefts, 15 burglaries, and eight robberies. Defence, Mr Barry Fitzgerald said the accused developed a drug addiction in his teens, which then accelerated.
Mr Fitzgerald said that the accused was homeless and had struggled all his life, being in and out of jail.
The accused himself told the court that “prison is not going to be an answer” for him. He said that the last time he was in custody the authorities did nothing for him and he had been trying to get himself off the streets and into residential care.
Mr Fitzgerald said that the accused’s cry for help was genuine.
Judge Catherine Staines said that it is devastating for business owners to come in and find their businesses robbed, and it is very frightening for people whose homes are broken into.
For theft, Judge Staines imposed a six-month sentence, and for criminal damage she imposed a ten-month sentence, to run consecutive, suspended for one year on condition he engages with probation supervision. Recognisance was fixed in the event of an appeal.