Court - Homeless man stole from Laois store to get back into jail

Theft of two drones from Portlaoise shop

Court - Homeless man stole from Laois store to get back into jail

A homeless man who it was claimed had stolen two drones from a Portlaoise store in order to get sent back to prison has been sentenced to eight months in jail with the last two months suspended.

Before last week’s sitting of the district court was Keith Kilroy (45), no fixed abode.

Garda evidence outlined that on December 7 last year, the accused entered Euro Giant, Lyster Square, Portlaoise, and stole two drones valued at €100.

The accused appeared in custody at last week’s court with further charges to come. He had 96 previous convictions, including 24 for theft, 15 for burglary, nine under the larceny act, and eight for trespass.

The court heard that the offence occurred while Kilroy was out on temporary release from prison.

Defence for the accused said that Kilroy was homeless and suffering with a drug habit. Defence said that the offence hadn’t been very sophisticated and it may have been an attempt on Kilroy’s part to get back into prison.

The arresting garda in the case agreed that this could have been the accused’s intention.

The garda also said that Kilroy had been very cooperative with the gardaí.

Defence went on to say that his client had left school at a young age and had led a chaotic life, becoming destitute and the victim of a drug habit which resulted in his living on the streets.

Defence said that Kilroy wanted to rebuild his life and rebuild connections with his siblings, and was asking the court for psychiatric intervention while in custody.

Defence said that Kilroy had previously been the subject of low-level psychiatric intervention.

Addressing the court himself, the accused said: “I’m put down as a basket case, I was told that by a drugs counsellor.”

Defence said that the accused suffered with depression, and when he had previously been released from custody there had been no supports in place for him. There were no hostels for him locally, and when he moved away he was then sent back to his own jurisdiction by the authorities.

Defence asked the court that supports be put in place for the accused.

On the charge of theft Judge Catherine Staines imposed eight months in jail, with the final two suspended for Kilroy to engage with the probation services.

The sentence was backdated to December 23 last, the date the accused went into custody.

The judge also ordered a psychiatric assessment and treatment for the accused.

A separate charge of robbery against the accused was put back to February 2 for DPP directions.