A Portlaoise man strung out on heroin committed a shoplifting offence by trying to walk out of a local store with a television set in his hands, last week’s district court heard.
At last week’s sitting of Portlaoise District Court, Nicholas Carville (42), 1A Lake Way, Kilminchy, Portlaoise, was charged with theft.
Inspector Aidan Farrelly gave evidence that on December 7, 2016, the accused entered Tesco in Portlaoise and removed the security tag from a TV valued €350 before he attempted to leave the shop with the item.
He was stopped by security and the TV was recovered, said Insp Farrelly.
The accused had over 30 previous convictions, including theft, robbery, criminal damage and burglary.
Defence, Mr Philip Meagher said his client had suffered from heroin abuse since he was 15 with considerable clean periods.
He came out of prison after his last spell in custody not completely clean, but with the help of his then partner he got completely clean, said Mr Meagher.
Defence said that the accused had experienced a few relapses due to triggers in his personal life and had been very intoxicated on the day of the theft, under the influence of heroin.
“He was completely strung out and walked in and put the television in his hands, it was very clear what he was doing,” said Mr Meagher, adding that the security staff had stopped him.
Mr Meagher said that the accused had a place on the waiting list for Coote Street for his drug addiction and had also secured residential treatment.
“He’s committed to once and for all deal with his difficulties,” said defence.
In ruling, Judge Catherine Staines noted that the accused had pleaded guilty to the offence.
He had numerous previous convictions, but had managed to become clean and was doing well with the probation services, said the judge.
Remarking that it seemed to be an isolated incident, Judge Staines put the matter back to December 7, saying that if there was an excellent report on the accused by that date she would consider remanding him further.
She said she wanted a letter confirming that the accused had either completed treatment, or was still on the programme.