A man who appeared before Longford District Court last week charged under the Theft & Fraud Offences Act and the Road Traffic Act was sentenced to five months in jail following a hearing into the matter.
Andrius Rudaitis, 20 Mostrim Oaks, Edgeworthstown, Co Longford appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with the theft of a Bank of Ireland cheque book, property of Donal Brady at Carrickboy Farm, Ballyglass, Edgeworthstown on dates between August 19 and August 22, 2016.
He was also further charged with stealing a bottle of Buckfast from Super Valu, Edgeworthstown on November 7, 2016; making gain by cashing cheques in Longford and hit and run, and driving without insurance at Athlone Road, Longford on March 5, 2017.
Outlining the evidence to the court, Inspector Blathaín Moran said that on March 5 last Garda Gilhooly and Garda Door were attending the scene of a road traffic accident in the Townspark area of Longford town.
“They spoke to the injured party - a Mr Fitzpatrick - who said that he had been driving his car to a petrol station when a red Micra came and stopped on the road,” she added.
“Mr Fitzpatrick said that all of a sudden the Micra reversed into his car and then drove away from the scene.
Mr Fitzpatrick subsequently called the gardaí.”
The court then heard that a short time later, the defendant was arrested on suspicion of drink driving.
Meanwhile, Garda Daly told the court that in August 2016 a local company director rang the Gardaí and said that a cheque book had been stolen some weeks previously.
“The company director said that it had been brought to his attention that an attempt had been made to cash a number of cheques,” the Garda continued.
“An attempt had been made to cash one of these cheques at the Bank of Ireland here in Longford town but the request was denied.”
Garda Daly then said that members eventually arrested Mr Rudaitis in respect of the matter and during questioning the defendant admitted to the offences and also admitted that he had succeeded in cashing a number of the cheques.
He also added, “The total cheques cashed amounted to €3,000”.
The court was also told that none of that money had ever been recovered.
“He is a man that is seriously alcohol dependent,” Garda Daly continued before pointing out that the defendant had 18 previous convictions including three for road traffic matters and three more for offences under the Public Order Act.
In mitigation, the defendant’s solicitor, Aine Gordon said that her client’s convictions were as a direct result of his dependency on alcohol.
“He has been in Ireland since 2006,” she added, before pointing out to Judge Hughes that Mr Rudaitis had worked during those years and was regarded by his employer as a “very good worker”.
“He has a daughter and in actual fact, his wife and daughter are in Lithuania at the moment and will be returning to Ireland next month.”
During his deliberations on the matter, Judge Hughes said the defendant’s behaviour was totally unacceptable.
The Judge subsequently convicted the defendant on all matters before the court and sentenced him to five months in jail.
Before the Judge concluded proceedings, he also disqualified the defendant from driving for four years.