A Laois man detected by gardaí breaking into apartments in Portlaoise ran from the scene and tried to dispose of his clothes by throwing them into the river.
At last week’s sitting of Portlaoise District Court, Brendan Tuohy (27), with previous addresses in Mountmellick and Portlaoise, was charged with burglary, at the Old Mill Apartments, Portlaoise, on March 13 this year.
Detective Garda Michael O’Donovan gave evidence that on that date, at 11.40pm, the accused was seen on garda CCTV kicking in the front door of the building.
He then went back outside and took his socks off his feet and put them on his hands. The gardaí arrived on the scene in a patrol car and the accused saw them and ran away.
Det O’Donovan said he saw the accused throwing clothes, including his jacket, into the nearby river.
€200 damage was caused to the door, and nothing was taken.
The accused had 45 previous convictions, including four burglaries. The latest offence was committed while out on bail on a separate theft charge. He is currently serving a sentence, with a release date in September.
Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said the building was unoccupied at the time and no one was put in fear.
She said the accused remembered entering the hallway of the premises, but he was taking unprescribed tablets, D10s, and wasn’t in a good place.
Det O’Donovan agreed, saying the accused was a chronic heroin addict.
Ms Fitzpatrick went on to say that her client had started using cannabis at the age of 14, then progressed onto harder drugs.
Ms Fitzpatrick said that prison only exacerbated his drug problem.
He is now drug-free and hopes to return to his parents in Portlaoise when he is released from prison, she said.
Judge Alan Mitchell imposed six months in prison on the accused.