A Romanian national directed to pay compensation for a number of theft offences failed to return to court to pay the money as he was arrested that same day on other matters.
Last week’s district court heard that Gavril Anghel (36), with an address at Rossdarragh Glen, Portlaoise, was arrested as he was leaving the court on November 16 last, having been ordered that morning by Judge Catherine Staines to provide compensation in the afternoon.
He was charged that day with a number of offences:
Inspector Ollie Baker gave evidence that on November 25, 2016, the accused went to a store in Laois Shopping Centre where, after confusing the cashier in a scam involving changing banknotes, he stole €168.
On May 26 this year, at Bradshaws on the Stradbally Road in Portlaoise, he took a tool kit valued at €347.
And on July 13 this year, the accused took items from Tesco, Portlaoise, valued at €13.16.
Insp Baker said that the tools from Bradshaws and the stolen groceries from Tesco were recovered, but the third shop was still at a loss of €168.
The accused had previous convictions under the road traffic act.
When the case came before the court in November, Judge Catherine Staines noted that the money had been stolen a year ago and he still had no compensation.
Judge Staines put the matter back to after lunchtime that day, saying that the matter had gone on long enough.
When the case was recalled after lunch, the accused failed to return to court.
In that event, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.
When the case returned to court last week, defence, Mr Philip Meagher explained that on the last occasion, as the accused was leaving court he was arrested by Tullamore gardaí on other matters.
Mr Meagher said his client now had the €200 to offer as compensation.
He said the accused, a Romanian national with a young family, had fallen on hard times and been out of work.
He was under pressure and had tried to make money through unacceptable ways, said defence.
Judge Catherine Staines said it was a serious matter, but the accused had pleaded guilty and paid compensation.
The judge applied the probation act, telling the accused that if he committed any further offences he could go to prison.
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