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25 Sept 2022

Longford Judge tells shoplifter after grocery and alcohol thefts: ‘You have to add vodka if you are having so much chicken’

Judge Seamus Hughes

Judge Seamus Hughes jokingly told a Slovakian man who stole six packets of chicken fillets and a bottle of spirits: "You have to add vodka if you are having so much chicken."

A judge told a jobless Slovakian man who stole half a dozen packs of chicken fillets and a bottle of vodka at two separate stores in Longford: “You have to add vodka if you are having so much chicken.” 

Judge Seamus Hughes said Marek Kroscen, of 4 Annaly Court, Longford was walking a custodial tightrope after it was suggested by prosecuting gardaí that the 19-year-old believed there was nothing untoward with his actions.

“He seems to think he can walk into a shop and pick up anything for €10 or less and walk out,” said Sgt Paddy McGirl.
Judge Hughes, in jovial conversation with Sgt McGirl asked the latter what country he thought such an action was deemed reasonable.

Sgt McGirl replied, saying he was unsure but added: “I wouldn’t like to chance it in Slovakia myself.”

Mr Kroscen was charged with stealing six packets of chicken fillets totalling €60, goods which were taken from Fresh Today, N4 Axis Centre on June 22 2020 along with over €90 worth of toiletries from Boots, Ballymahon Street, Longford town.

A third shoplifting charge relating to the vodka theft from Aldi in Longford town just two weeks earlier on June 7 was also outlined.

It was at that stage Judge Hughes referred to the three charges, commenting: “The six packets of chicken fillets, sure you have to add vodka if you are having so much chicken and cosmetics on top of that.”

The court was informed that although Mr Kroscen’s only previous court indiscretion was an adult caution, the goods taken on both occasions were not recovered.

Defence solicitor Brid Mimnagh said Mr Kroscen was out of work at present and had been resident in Ireland for the past 15 months.

It was also revealed, Mr Kroscen, who was wearing a green jumper and green trousers, had no access to any social welfare income at present.

Judge Hughes said he was willing to allow Mr Kroscen an opportunity to repay the items stolen and adjourned the case until July 28 for €160 in compensation.

In doing so, he warned him: “If he commits any further offence, I am telling him I will give him a prison sentence and he won’t enjoy that experience.”

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