A man who appeared at last week’s sitting of Longford District Court charged under the Theft & Fraud Offences Act was sentenced to four months in jail which the judge suspended.
Sandis Anderson (37), 49 Willow Ridge, Oldtown, Cavan appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with stealing toothpaste and coffee from SuperValu, Longford on September 7 last.
He was also further charged with stealing four bottles of Jack Daniels whiskey from the store on August 26 last; stealing a bottle of brandy, bottle of Malibu and two bottles of Jack Daniels on August 24 and two bottles of liquor and a bottle of Jack Daniels on August 31, 2016.
Superintendent Jim Delaney told the court in his evidence that the defendant was apprehended by security staff at the SuperValu store in Hazelwood Shopping Centre in Longford town on September 7 last.
When gardaí arrived at the scene, the court heard they discovered Mr Anderson in possession of stolen property.
“Further investigations revealed that he had engaged in other thefts at the store prior to that,” the Superintendent continued.
“When interviewed by the Gardaí in respect of all matters, he made admissions.”
In mitigation, the defendant’s solicitor Bríd Mimnagh said that her client - who arrived in Ireland eight years ago - claimed he was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the thefts.
“His wife works in a mushroom factory in Co Monaghan and earns €250 per week,” she added.
“She works 30 hours a week for that money.”
The court also heard that the defendant and his wife had a daughter and that Mr Anderson had already made “genuine efforts” to pay the money back to SuperValu.
During his deliberations on the matter, Judge Hughes said he did not understand how some Irish employers got away with paying such poor wages to their employees.
“How are some Irish employers getting away with it?” the Judge fumed.
“We are in a country where there is a minimum wage and look at what is going on.”
Meanwhile, he sentenced the defendant to four months in prison but suspended it for two years on the grounds that Mr Anderson did not engage in any thefts during that period.
“You have made efforts to pay the money back,” Judge Hughes added before concluding matters.