Court hears of how Longford man who stole woman's handbag from bookies is 'model prisoner'

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Longford District Court

A man has appeared in court charged with stealing a handbag from a bookies in Longford town.

A man who appeared before Longford District Court last week charged under the Theft & Fraud Offences Act had his case adjourned to allow for a victim impact statement to be furnished to the court.

Patrick Maughan, Lavender Cottage, Farnagh Hill, Longford appeared before Judge Fiona Lydon charged with stealing a handbag at Paddy Power Bookmaker, Ballymahon Street, Longford on September 4, 2017.

Outlining the evidence to the court, Inspector Paul Kilcoyne said that on the date in question a woman left her handbag down on the counter in the Paddy Power betting shop.

He then told the court that the defendant subsequently came along, took the purse and left the betting shop thereafter.

Inspector Kilcoyne pointed out that there had been €125 in cash in the handbag as well as €85 worth of unchased betting slips.

A social welfare card was also stolen in the incident.

The court then heard that while the defendant had 21 previous convictions he was currently endeavouring to get his life back on track.

In mitigation, Mr Maughan’s solicitor John Quinn said his client was dealing with a bereavement at the time of the offence and “was on a lot of medication at the time”.

The court heard that the defendant was currently in custody in respect of separate matters.

“He is regarded as a model prisoner,” added Mr Quinn, before pointing out that his client had been engaging in education courses at the facility and was endeavouring to “better himself”.

“He wants to get into gainful employment when he gets out of prison.”

The court also heard that the defendant was a family man and wanted to do the right thing by them.

“He has a partner and three children and desperately wants to put his crimes behind him,” added Mr Quinn.

Meanwhile, Judge Lydon asked if a victim impact statement was available to the court and when she was told there wasn’t, she determined to adjourn proceedings until next week to allow for the statement to be furnished to her.

Mr Maughan was subsequently ordered to appear back before the courts later this week.