DPP to decide on alleged possession of article charge, Longford court hears

Longford Leader Reporter

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Judge Seamus Hughes

Judge Seamus Hughes

A homeless man charged with shoplifting arising from an incident in Longford last November has been fined following a recent District Court sitting.

Shane McDonnell (23), formerly of Park West, Dublin 12 was before last Tuesday’s District Court sitting to answer two charges following an episode in Longford on November 11 2019.

At the outset of the case, defence solicitor Trish Cronin said one of the charges, namely the alleged possession of an article would require directions being given by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). On that basis, she asked for a second Section 4 theft charge to be adjourned to the same date.

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Ms Cronin also suggested her client would be seeking the disclosure of CCTV footage, sparking Judge Hughes to comment: “You don’t need CCTV, he (Mr McDonnell) pleaded guilty on November 12 (2019).”

The judge also indicated he knew the defendant particularly well, something which State prosecutor Sgt Paddy McGirl gave further credence to when referring to Mr McDonnell’s criminal past. He noted how Mr McDonnell had 16 previous convictions, seven of which were for similar theft related offences.

The most recent of those came on April 24 last year when Mr McDonnell was handed a sixth month sentence which was suspended for 18 months.

“That didn’t seem to deter him,” replied Judge Hughes.

In defence, Ms Cronin said her client had only become a father for the second time on January 5. On the Section 4 charge, Judge Hughes fined Mr McDonnell €250, giving him three months to pay.

He put back another matter before the Courts of Criminal Justice until January 21 not before a submission was made by Ms Cronin for the case to be deferred to a later date owing to his new born child.

“He’s hardly nursing him,” responded Judge Hughes, prompting a flurry of laughter in the public gallery.

“It’s better to get it out of the way, no.”

The second Longford charge relating to the alleged possession of an article was adjourned until March 10 with Mr McDonnell being remanded on continuing bail.

Also read: Longford man fined for 'grabbing' garda in row