Portlaoise man stole diesel in 'mean' offence

Portlaoise man stole diesel in 'mean' offence

A Laois man has been allowed to appeal a prison sentence for stealing diesel, on condition he make a €1,000 donation to a local charity.

Before Portlaoise Circuit Court was Michael O’Reilly (46).

State solicitor, Mr Donal Dunne gave evidence that the appellant was given a ten-month sentence in Portlaoise District Court for the theft of diesel from machinery in Mountrath.

The machinery was parked up and during the night he attended at the compound and stole diesel to a value of €100.

Mr Dunne said that the appellant was the driver of the car that went to the scene and there was someone else with him.

The appellant had four previous convictions.

Defence, solicitor Mr Philip Meagher said his client was a married man with ten children, six of whom live at home.

Mr Meagher said the diesel wasn’t taken to sell on, it was taken to be used in a burner at the appellant’s home as the family were going through a tough time.

Mr Meagher explained that the appellant kept horses in a field at the rear of the forest and he passed by the equipment with his son and “temptation got the better of him” and he decided to commit this offence on the spur of the moment.

Mr Meagher said his client had €250 in court by way of compensation.

Describing it as a mean offence, Judge Keenan Johnson directed the €250 go to the injured party and told the appellant to pay €1,000 to the Block Project. If paid, the judge said he would suspend the prison sentence.