17 Aug 2022

Staff assaulted trying to stop Portlaoise man stealing money


Staff assaulted trying to stop Portlaoise man stealing money

A Portlaoise man who committed a number of deception offences to obtain money, on one occasion assaulting two female staff members of a restaurant who ran after him to retrieve the stolen cash, has been sentenced to a total of 12 months in jail.

At last week's sitting of Portlaoise District Court, Darren McInerney (33), 1 New Road, Portlaoise, was charged with theft from Homebase, Portlaoise, on October 9 last; theft from The Bog Road, Portlaoise, on October 20; and theft from Okayu Restaurant, Main Street, Portlaoise, and two assaults, at Portlaoise Main Street, all on October 23.

When he appeared before last week’s court, Judge Staines asked the prison officers to take the handcuffs off the accused, but Garda William Whelan informed her that the accused had previously escaped from custody.

Concerning the first two theft charges, State’s evidence outlined that he took food from The Bog Road, Portlaoise, to a value of €35.35, and he also took €20 of goods from Homebase.

Concerning the charges of October 23, he entered the restaurant on Main Street and told staff he wanted change of €50, but handed over €10. When the staff member realised her mistake he ran away, but two female staff members ran after him and were injured in a struggle.

On a new charge, State’s evidence outlined that the accused entered a shop in Tipperary, where he performed a sleight of hand deception to defraud the shopkeeper of €20.

The accused had 103 previous convictions and is currently serving a sentence for sexual assault.

Defence, Mr Barry Fitzgerald admitted his client had an appalling record. He said the accused had been trying to engage with help for his drug addiction at the time, but he is now clean of drugs.

Judge Staines said there had been a pattern of deception where the accused stole money. He had also refused to let go of the money when the two ladies went after him.

Saying she had to mark the seriousness of the offending, Judge Staines imposed a 12-month sentence for the deception matters and two five-month sentences on the assaults, to run concurrently. This made a total of 12 months in prison.

Recognisance was fixed in the event of an appeal.

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