A 19-year-old man who stole tools from vans in Emo has been sentenced to ten months in jail, with the last four suspended.
Thomas McDonagh (19), with an address at 5 St Brigids Lawn, Porterstown Road, Co. Dublin, was charged with two counts of criminal damage, and theft, at Gate House, Emo, on December 15 last year.
Inspector Ollie Baker gave evidence that on December 15, 2017, a vehicle was spotted acting in a suspicious manner at The Rock, Mountmellick.
It was stopped by gardaí and stolen property to a value of €4,900 was found in the vehicle. Three people, including the accused, were in the vehicle and were arrested.
The accused made admissions to the gardaí that he had broken into two vans and stolen the tools, causing damage to the vans.
One van was damaged to a value of €450 and the other to a value of €120, Insp Baker told the court.
The accused had 17 previous convictions.
In ruling, Judge Catherine Staines said it was a serious crime to steal tools from two vans, tools which were needed by people to do their jobs.
She said fortunately the tools were recovered, but the offence meritted a custodial sentence.
She acknowledged the accused’s very tragic life and said that presumably the theft was carried out to pay for drugs.
The judge imposed ten months in prison, with the last four months suspended for the accused to remain under probation supervision for 12 months.