An issue with his home water supply was the reason given by a 34-year-old man for stealing packets of water filters from a Portlaoise store.
Dmitrijs Mikalajuns (34), with an address listed at 40 Bianconi Way, Portlaoise, was charged with theft at last week’s sitting of Portlaoise District Court.
Inspector Jer Glavin gave evidence that the accused entered Dunnes Stores, Mountmellick Road, Portlaoise, on the morning of August 30 this year, with a store-branded shopping bag.
He put two packets of water filters into the bag, with a total value of €65.85, and attempted to leave without paying.
Insp Glavin also said the accused gave a false name and address to the gardaí, although no charges were brought against him in relation to this.
The accused had 13 previous convictions, including four thefts, and a number of road traffic offences.
He was given a suspended sentence in 2014 for a theft offence.
Defence, Mr Philip Meagher admitted his client had a poor history.
Pointing out that the stolen items were not the usual sort of property to come before the court, Mr Meagher said that his client had five young children and there was an issue with the water supply in the home, with all the water needing to be filtered.
As the accused is out of work and has to pay rent and utility bills, he was not in a position to buy the water filters, said defence.
“We had a very long and robust conversation about his history,” said Mr Meagher, pointing out that imprisonment would have a serious effect on the accused’s family.
Judge Catherine Staines imposed 150 hours‘ community service on the accused, in lieu of eight months in prison.