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Couple broke into solicitor's office in Portlaoise

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Couple broke into solicitor's office in Portlaoise

Portlaoise court house

A couple who broke into a solicitor's office in Portlaoise appeared in individual video links before the local District Court on Thursday.

Niall Connolly (30) of 38 Higgins Park, Fairgreen, Portlaoise pleaded guilty to the charge of trespass with intent to steal.

Stacey Kelly (23) also of 38 Higgins Park, Fairgreen, Portlaoise also pleaded guilty to trespass with intent to steal.

The court heard that on May 3, 2020 Mr Connolly and Ms Kelly broke into the offices of Midland Legal Solicitors.

They spent eight minutes on the premises. Nothing was taken but €300 worth of damage was done, principally to a window.

Speaking by video link as he is serving a four month sentence, Mr Connolly apologised to the solicitor, Philip Meagher. He said he was under the influence of drugs at the time.

Defending solicitor, Josephine Fitzpatrick said that his release date was due in October. He was a heroin addict who had been taking tablets at the time.

Judge Catherine Staines said that his lodged bail bond of €400 was to go to Philip Meagher.

She sentenced him to five months in prison, backdated to July 27 of this year.

The Judge also directed that Stacey Kelly's bail bond of €90 go to Philip Meagher. She was sentenced to five months in Dochas.

Defending Solicitor Josephine Fitzpatrick said Ms Connolly was in a relationship with Niall Connolly. She was on methadone, and was due for release this November 7.

Ms Kelly also faced a number of other charges including theft of a handbag and iphone from the Bridge House Tullamore on March 30, 2019.

Judge Staines noted that there were numerous charges relating to theft and said that Ms Kelly had had numerous opportunities to deal with her heroin addiction. For the theft of the bag and iphone she received a five month consecutive sentence. The total sentence was backdated to July 7.

For the theft of the iphone Judge Staines ordered €500 compensation from the court poor box to the injured party.