A Portlaoise man has been convicted of stealing laptops from a training centre which offers services for people who need specialist support.
At last week's sitting of Portlaoise District Court, Brian McDonald (28), with an address listed at Clonreher, Portlaoise, was charged with three counts of theft, on dates between May and July this year, from the National Learning Network, Dublin Road, Portlaoise.
Inspector Jer Glavin gave evidence that a laptop was stolen from the National Learning Network on July 8 this year.
The only person who had access to the room was the accused, but he said he knew nothing about it.
A search warrant was subsequently obtained for the accused’s home, and the laptop valued at €700 was found.
When questioned, McDonald admitted he had taken other laptops from the National Learning Network, said Insp Glavin.
The accused had no previous convictions.
Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said all the goods were covered, and although her client had initially denied his involvement he then made full admissions to the gardaí.
Ms Fitzpatrick said her client suffered with depression and anxiety and had been accepted by the National Learning Network to undertake studies.
However, he was asked to leave the centre in the wake of these offences and would now not receive a certificate for his studies.
Ms Fitzpatrick also said that her client was now having trouble getting access to his young child.
Defence concluded by saying that the accused had €100 compensation in court, and he is on social welfare.
Judge Staines ordered that the €100 go to the National Learning Network and imposed 200 hours’ community service in lieu of ten months in prison.
The matter was put back to December 1 for a community service report.