Slovakian shoplifter offered plane ticket home by court

Portlaoise courthouse

A Slovakian national with no job or social welfare who shoplifted groceries on two occasions has been offered money from the court poor box in order to get a plane ticket back to Slovakia.

Before yesterday’s (Thursday, July 13) Portlaoise District Court was Imrich Tichy (54), with an address listed at Main Street, Rathdowney.

Inspector Eamonn Curley gave evidence that on May 19 this year, at Dealz, Laois Shopping Centre, Portlaoise, the gardaí were called as the accused was being held on suspicion of stealing goods.

CCTV footage was viewed and the accused was observed filling two shopping bags with goods worth €73.12 before leaving the store without paying.

It was discovered that on May 17 the accused had stolen €30 of goods.

The goods were not recovered, said Insp Curley.

Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said her client, a Slovakian national who came to Ireland in January of this year hoping to secure work, had no income at all and no social welfare.

Ms Fitzpatrick said her client seemed like a genuine man and had made full admissions to the gardaí. She said he was living with a friend and this sort of offending wouldn’t happen again.

Judge Catherine Staines observed the accused had no way of living in Ireland and asked had he thought of going back to Slovakia.

The accused replied, through an interpreter, that he had, but he didn’t have the money to go back as his family would not provide the money for him.

Saying that it was in the interest of everybody if the accused went back to Slovakia, Judge Staines said that if the accused was able to source flights then the court would give him the money out of the court poor box.

When the case was recalled, Ms Fitzpatrick said that the cost of a flight to Slovakia that day would be €381. She said that flights would be cheaper in two weeks’ time and offered to assist the accused in purchasing a ticket.

Judge Staines said that the court poor box would reimburse Ms Fitzpatrick, and compensation of €105 would also be paid to Dealz out of the poor box.

The matter was put back to September 7.

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