A man and a woman who appeared before Longford District Court last week charged in connection with robberies in Ballymahon were sentenced to terms in jail following the judge’s deliberations on the matter.
Daniel Maughan, 3 Cartron Road, Popintree, Ballymun, Dublin 11 appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with stealing a console and being in possession of stolen goods at Finn’s Centre, Ballymahon on February 24, 2016. He was also further charged with stealing a car at Auburn, Ballymahon prior to that date.
Mary McDonagh, 26 St Margaret's Park, Ballymun, Dublin 11 also appeared at Longford District Court charged in connection with the incident.
She appeared before Judge Hughes charged with stealing groceries from Finn’s Centra, Ballymahon on October 29, 2015.
Outlining the evidence to the court, Inspector Padraig Jones said that gardaí began carrying out inquiries in relation to a number of criminal acts and petty thefts that had been carried out in Leinster and Ulster.
In the meantime, the court heard that three thefts were carried out at Finn’s Filling Station in Ballymahon in which Mr Maughan stole a console and Ms McDonagh left the store without paying for groceries she had taken from the shelves.
“It also appears that Mr Maughan was driving a car that constantly had its identification changed,” continued Inspector Jones.
“The car had been stolen from outside an address in Ballymahon.”
The court went on to hear that the various number plates that were used to change the car’s identity had all been cloned and that none of the stolen goods were ever recovered.
The court then heard that Ms McDonagh was an associate of Mr Maughan.
It was she, the court was told that stole the groceries at Finn’s Filling Station.
“We viewed CCTV in respect of the matter and she was observed on the footage taking the goods and leaving the store without paying for them,” Inspector Jones added.
In mitigation, the barrister representing the defendants - Mr Connellan BL - said that Mr Maughan was a 21-year-old man who was currently incarcerated in respect of a separate matter and was serving a 16 month sentence.
“At the time of the offences before the court, he had drug issues and while this is no excuse for criminality, it may assist the court in terms of the fact that Mr Maughan was in the throes of drug addiction at the time,” continued Mr Connellan BL.
“He made admissions and co-operated to a large extent with the gardaí; he is also looking to deal with his drug issues while in prison and wishes to continue with his education while there also.”
The court then heard that Mr Maughan had already begun to engage with the addiction services in prison, and once again the barrister was keen to point out that his client’s criminal behaviour was directly linked to the defendant’s drug addiction.
“It would appear that with regards to Mr Maughan his chickens are coming home to roost in terms of his criminality but the reality is that 16 months is plenty of time for Mr Maughan to rehabilitate himself in prison and emerge from the experience a better person.”
With regards to Ms McDonagh, Mr Connellan BL told the court that the value of the groceries she stole, “had been relatively low” and pointed out that she was not the main force behind the criminal acts.
The court was also told that she too was serving a prison sentence following a hearing at Bray District Court the previous day.
During his deliberations on the matter, Judge Hughes said that Mr Maughan had not only engaged in criminal behaviour but was also “well equipped” to carry out his plans to precision.
“He had false plates for his car and basically went around the place doing what he liked,” the Judge added.
“With regards to Ms McDonagh, I’m not to make her life any harder.”
The Judge subsequently handed down a one month prison sentence to Ms McDonagh to be served concurrent to the sentence she is currently serving, while Mr Maughan was sentenced to a further five months on top of his 16 month sentence.
“I will not tolerate people behaving like this in my district,” fumed Judge Hughes before concluding matters.