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13 Aug 2022

Abbeyleix man given jail for stealing lead off roof

Portlaoise courthouse

An Abbeyleix man has been sentenced to six months in jail for thefts that include stealing the lead flashing off the roof of a house in a Portlaoise estate.

At this week’s sitting of Portlaoise District Court, Gerard Fennelly (42), with an address at Rathmoyle, Abbeyleix, was charged with three counts of theft and one count of failing to appear in court.

Sgt JJ Fennelly said that on September 21 last, at O’Moore Place, the accused was observed taking the lead flashing of the roof of a house. He was holding a claw hammer when the gardaí arrived and was arrested.

On September 28, he stole a t-shirt valued at €30 and pants valued at €50 from Lifestyle Sports, Portlaoise.

There was a bench warrant out for his arrest at the time.

The accused had 47 previous convictions, including multiple thefts and drug dealing. He was previously given a prison sentence, part-suspended.

Defence, Ms Louise Troy said that the court was very familiar with the accused due to his entrenched drug habit. He left prison in August and had been working, but an issue arose with getting his methadone and he was out of work for a time, leading him to fall back into old habits.

Ms Troy asked the court to put some kind of structure in place for his treatment.

“Idle hands lead him down this road,” she said.

Judge Catherine Staines imposed six months in prison, with recognisance fixed in the event of an appeal.

In the event of bail, conditions are that he must keep out of O’Moore Place and stay out of all retail premises in Portlaoise.

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