Longford District Court: Tools replaced with litres of milk

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Longford District Court

A man who appeared at last week’s sitting of Longford District Court charged in connection with stolen property was sentenced to four months in prison following a hearing into the matter

A man who appeared at last week’s sitting of Longford District Court charged in connection with stolen property was sentenced to four months in prison following a hearing into the matter.

Gerard Maughan (40), Collinstown Park, Forest Road, Swords, Co Dublin appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with dishonestly by deception induce a man at Affordable Tyres, Lamagh, Newtownforbes to buy two drills at €420 with the intention of making gain for himself or others - the injured party handed over €420 in cash and was handed a black bag which contained two containers of milk - on November 19, 2015.


He was also further charged with dishonestly by deception induce another man at Dublin Road, Edgeworthstown to buy two drills at arranged price of €300 - the injured party handed over €300 in cash and was given a black bag containing two containers of milk with the intention of making a gain for himself or others and of handling stolen property (two red cordless snap-on drills) at Main Street Granard, Co Longford on the same date.


Outlining the evidence to the court, Inspector Tom Closh said that on the date in question the defendant sold snap-on drills to two unsuspecting parties who handed over €700 in cash for the goods, only to be handed a black bag containing litres of milk!
Inspector Closh also said that the owner of the tools identified them as his on October 30, 2015 after they had been stolen from his business in Co Westmeath on an earlier date.


The Inspector then went on to tell the court that on the date in question, gardaí were called to O’Connor’s Garage where a man there had said that he agreed a price for two snap-on drills, handed over the money and was given a black napsack that contained three liters of milk instead of the tools.


“The same thing happened in the second incident - a price was agreed and when the black bag was handed over, the tools had been replaced with liters of milk,” continued the Inspector.


“The snap-on drills had been stolen from a business at Rathconnell, Mullingar on an earlier date and the owner later identified the drills as his.”
The court was then told that the defendant had 92 previous convictions, most of which were under the Road Traffic Act.


Addressing Judge Hughes directly, the defendant said that he had not been the instigator of anything that had occured.
He claimed he had simply been in a car with a group of men when a plan of action had been hatched.


Mr Maughan pointed out to the court that while he happened to be in a car with other men when the decision was made to steal tools and sell them on, he merely went along with the plan.


“I was in the car with the other lads and I just went along with things,” he added.
“It was the other lads who thought of it all.”


Meanwhile, in mitigation, the defendant’s solicitor John Quinn said his client was a 40-year-old man with eight children.
Mr Quinn also pointed to the fact that his client’s previous convictions were “mainly road traffic matters”.


“He is a man that does not get involved in scams,” the solicitor continued, before pointing to the fact that it was clear that the whole incident had been “coordinated” by another individual.


“My client won’t say that individual’s name but he is adamant that he just went along with things - someone else was coordinating.


“The money was recovered by the Gardaí and paid back to the injured parties.”
Judge Hughes then asked if the milk used had been in date.
“It was in date - it was the other fella who bought the milk,” the defendant confirmed.


“See how he knows that the milk was in date all the same,” quipped the Judge, before deliberating on the proceedings before him.


During his ruling on the matter Judge Hughes said the case before him had been going on for far too long.


The Judge subsequently sentenced the defendant to four months in prison before finally bringing matters to a conclusion.