A Portlaoise man has been given community service in lieu of prison for the “nasty” crime of stealing a child’s bicycle.
Ryan Lewis (22), 98 St Brigid’s Place, Portlaoise, was charged with theft at last week’s sitting of the district court.
Inspector Eamon Curley gave evidence that at 10pm on November 14 this year, the accused was observed on the Mountmellick Road in Portlaoise as a passenger on a girl’s bicycle, which was being cycled by another male.
The bike, valued at €150, had been stolen from Laurel Drive in Esker Hills between November 13/14.
The accused had 24 previous convictions, including seven for theft.
Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said the bike was recovered and her client had made full admissions.
She said that Lewis had been in a friend’s house in the area, and the area was not known to him.
He took the bicycle to run an errand, but then couldn’t find his way back, so he took the bicycle home with him in case someone else took it.
Ms Fitzpatrick said the accused had €45 in court to offer the young lady whose bike had been stolen.
Defence went on to say that the accused is on 100ml of methadone a day and is stabilising, but as yet is not stable.
Ms Fitzpatrick concluded by saying her client had never done community service before, if the court was so willing.
Judge Catherine Staines described it as “such a nasty thing to do, to steal a child’s bike”.
To this, the accused himself admitted that it had been a stupid thing to do.
Judge Staines noted that the accused had a drug addiction but was now stabilising, and said that society would benefit better if Lewis was stabilised and not committing crime.
The judge ordered that the €45 compensation be handed over, and put the matter back to February 23 for a probation report. The judge also imposed 100 hours’ community service in lieu of six months in prison.