Longford man sentenced to five months in jail for stealing candles

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Judge Seamus Hughes.

A man who appeared at last week’s sitting of Longford District Court charged under the Theft & Fraud Offences Act was sentenced to five months in prison following a hearing into the matter.

Robert O’Hare (35), 3 Camlin Mews, Longford appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with stealing five Yankee Candles from Mr Price, Athlone Road, Longford on May 27, 2017.

He was also further charged with trespass at Maguires, Stonepark, Longford on September 9, 2017.

Outlining the evidence to the court, Inspector Bláithín Moran said that on May 27 last at approximately 5pm, the defendant entered the Mr Price store in Longford town and stole five Yankee Candles valued at €100.

She said the matter was reported to gardaí and when they later viewed CCTV footage, were in a position to identify the defendant as the culprit.

Meanwhile, the court was told about the incident at Maguires on the outskirts of Longford town.
“It was 3:22am and Garda Burke and Garda Conroy were on patrol in the Stonepark area of Longford when they encountered the defendant,” added the Inspector.

“The Gardaí observed Mr O’Hare on the curtilage of Maguire’s property and he was wearing a headlight.

“When he was asked what he was doing there, Mr O’Hare told Gardaí that he was going to the toilet.”

In mitigation, the defendant’s solicitor Frank Gearty said that his client was a heroin addict.

The court also heard that Mr O’Hare was the father of three children.

“He did take the candles, but he did think the value of them was less than what has emerged in court,” continued Mr Gearty.

“He tells me he planned to sell them on.”

Mr Gearty went on to say that, in relation to the matter at Maguires, nothing had been taken in the incident.

“He says he had no intention of taking anything,” said Mr Gearty.

“And, in fairness to him, by pleading guilty to the offence he has saved the State and the court a very novel bail application and saved a certain amount of time too.

“I would therefore ask the court to take all of that into account.”

The court was then told that the defendant had a number of previous convictions that included burglary and criminal damage. 

“He needs to address his addiction with the greatest of urgency,” added Mr Gearty.

Addressing Judge Hughes, the defendant said that he had been waiting five months to get onto a Methadone Programme but nothing was happening in relation to that.

During his deliberations on the matter, Judge Hughes said he was aware the defendant was in the throes of drug addiction.

“Therefore, he added, “I cannot take into account any of your future behaviours, but I do know one thing, I need to put you in a safe place where you have no access to drugs.”

The Judge subsequently sentenced the defendant to five months in prison for stealing the Yankee Candles and imposed a further three months for trespassing at Maguires.

The Judge ordered that the three month prison term be served concurrently before concluding matters.