Dubliner on Halfords theft charge tells court: "I never heard of yankee candles until I came to Longford"

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Judge Seamus Hughes

Judge Seamus Hughes was told by a man accused of stealing a car battery from Halford's has told of how his propensity to steal yankee candles only emerged when he arrived in Longford.

A man who appeared before last week’s district court sitting in Longford charged under the Theft & Fraud Offences Act had his case adjourned to allow the court monitor his behaviour.

Francis Gavin, 3 Moyne Park, Moyne Road, Baldoyle, Co Dublin appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with stealing a car battery at Halfords, N4 Axis, Longford on July 11, 2017.

Outlining the evidence to the court, Garda Karl Foley said that on the date in question at approximately 16:28 a male and female entered the store and removed certain items from the shelves.

“A car battery was put into a rucksack and both the male and female left the store without paying for it,” added Garda Foley, before pointing out that once gardaí arrived at the store and reviewed CCTV footage of the incident, they were in a position to identify the defendant.

“Mr Gavin is originally from Springlawn here in Longford town but is now living in Dublin.”

Meanwhile, the court heard the defendant had gone into a number of stores in Longford town and taken goods from them without paying for the items including stealing Yankee candles.

“None of the items have ever been recovered,” the Garda continued.

Judge Hughes then wanted to know why anyone would steal candles?

“What did you want to do with the Yankee Candles?,” the Judge inquired.

“Were you going to sell them?

“It’s a funny thing but I never heard of Yankee Candles until I came to Longford!”.

The court then heard the defendant had 76 previous convictions, 12 of which were for thefts, 61 for road traffic matters and one conviction under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Judge Hughes then asked the defendant if he had ever been to prison and Mr Gavin replied, “I have yes; I spent eight months in prison”.

Mr Gavin subsequently addressed Judge Hughes directly.

He told the Judge that he had a letter for him which outlined his difficulties in life.

He also said that he was now endeavouring to get on with his life and sort himself out.

“I have a letter here for you judge and it’s private,” he added, before handing it over to the court.

“I’m going to be honest with you, I have had my problems but all I want is a chance.”

In mitigation, the defendant’s solicitor Bríd Mimnagh said her client was now off all drugs.

“He is happier in his life now and is trying to get on with things,” she added.

Following his deliberations on the matter, Judge Hughes ordered a Probation Report in respect of the case before him.

“I want to be satisfied that you are off drugs before I deal with this,” he added, before bringing matters to a conclusion by adjourning proceedings until November 27 next.