06 Dec 2021

Court hears how Longford serial thief stole again just four days after latest theft conviction

Longford Courthouse.

Gardaí are pushing to revoke a man's bail after allegedly walking into a grocery store to steal alcohol just four days after appearing in court for a similar offence.

Gardaí want to revoke a recidivist thief's suspended prison sentence after allegedly walking into a grocery store to steal alcohol just four days after appearing in court for a similar offence.

Thirty-one-year-old David O'Leary, 2A Moy Mews, Ballymahon, Co Longford, failed to show up in court when details surrounding his alleged theft and possession of a multi-tool knife came before Judge Seamus Hughes.

Defence solicitor Frank Gearty said the case had previously come before the court to determine if the article retrieved from Mr O'Leary on June 13 last could be deemed offensive.

The court heard how gardaí had arrested Mr O'Leary after he was spotted on CCTV stealing a bottle of Buckfast inside Ballymahon's SuperValu store.

Garda John Fitzmaurice said he had been upstairs in the shop dealing with an unrelated incident when Mr O'Leary was observed taking the wine from a shelf.

He said Mr O'Leary attempted to flee the store forcing gardaí to follow in pursuit.

“We caught him after a short enough chase and when we arrested him you could see the object (knife) in his hand,” said Garda Fitzmaurice.

Upon tracking the accused down, Garda Fitzmaurice said Mr O'Leary had to be physically restrained to drop the implement.
In the immediate aftermath of those revelations, the court heard how Mr O'Leary had 54 previous convictions, 15 of which were for theft.

Sgt Paddy McGirl said Mr O'Leary's latest theft conviction had been recorded on June 9, 2020, four days before the Ballymahon episode.

In response, Mr Gearty said he could offer no reasonable excuse for his client's absence from court but did, nonetheless, proffer a defence to his client's Section 9 Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act charge.

“He (Mr O'Leary) was removing bolts from some mechanical object in Legan 12km away a number of hours previously,” he said.

Sgt McGirl said the State would be seeking to revoke Mr O'Leary's suspended prison sentence when the case next returns before the court.

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