24 May 2022

Serial Longford thief with over 100 previous convictions remanded in custody

Longford Courthouse.

A serial thief with a over 100 previous convictions has pleaded guilty to carrying out over half a dozen further shoplifting offences in Longford town.

A serial thief with a over 100 previous convictions has pleaded guilty to carrying out over half a dozen further shoplifting offences in Longford town.

Francis Gavin (34), 3 Canal Bank, Longford was remanded in custody by Judge Bernadette Owens at last Tuesday's District Court sitting after pleading guilty to a series of thefts at various retail stores between November 2019 and February 17 this year.

The first of those, which took place at Homesaver's resulted in the theft of six hairdryers, worth of a total of €180 along with other items which totalled almost €250.

On January 8 this year, the court heard how Mollaghan's Furniture was similarly targeted by the accused, leading to the theft of €38 worth of bed linen.

Twenty-four-hours later, the father of one entered Lidl, along Longford town's Dublin Road shortly before lunchtime to steal an air fryer worth €99.

Three further shoplifting offences were likewise read into the court record over the course of the past four weeks.
Judge Bernadette Owens was told some of the offending was also committed while Mr Gavin was on bail.

His solicitor Frank Gearty said Mr Gavin, who was in custody when brought before last week's District Court sitting, had encountered a troubled time battling a chronic drug addiction.

“He has a very severe compulsion and need for these tablets,” said Mr Gearty.

Sgt Mark Mahon for the State, said Mr Gavin had 113 previous convictions to his name, the most recent of which arrived in November 2020 for theft.

Mr Gearty, in giving the court further insight as to his client's background, was a man who had brought untold anguish on his family.

“He (Mr Gavin) is now living with his mother and she has brought €500 bail money to court which can go to the victims, no strings attached.”

He has destroyed himself and his reputation with what he has done.”

Mr Gearty said Mr Gavin was acceptive he had a “terrible record” and how his actions had both “embarrassed and ashamed” his mother.

Judge Owens said prior to passing any form of sentence, the court was obligated to try and identify the root of what lay behind Mr Gavin's offending and determine what type of drug rehabilitation services would be made available to the accused at the culmination of his sentence.

On that basis, she remanded Mr Gavin in custody until a sitting of Longford District Court on March 8 2022.

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