09 Aug 2022

Man took rugby jersey from Longford store in ‘opportunist’ theft, court hears

Longford Courthouse.

A father of eight who walked into a Longford sports store to steal a rugby jersey for his six year old son has been convicted and fined €150 by Judge Bernadette Owens

A father of eight who walked into a Longford sports store to steal a rugby jersey for his six year old son has been convicted and fined €150 by Judge Bernadette Owens.

Michael Maughan (33), 1 Sillage Green, Swords Road, Dublin, pleaded guilty at last week’s District Court sitting to the theft of an Irish rugby jersey valued at €39 from Elvery’s, Athlone Road, Longford on March 7, 2022.

The court heard Mr Maughan had entered the store at around 2pm with a co-accused, who was due to appear later in the day after pleading not guilty to the alleged incident.

Sgt Enda Daly, for the State, said both men had been spotted entering the shop with the accused being observed taking two rugby jerseys from a clothing rail.

“One of the males, identified as the defendant proceeded to look at Irish rugby jerseys and grabbed an adult and a juvenile jersey and entered the changing room,” he said.

“The defendant returned and showed the other person present with the adult jersey on himself.

“The defendant returned to the changing room before returning to the shop floor and returned the adult jersey to the shelf.

"The defendant did not attempt to return the juvenile jersey.

“At this stage they passed all points of payment and the staff searched the changing rooms but no juvenile jersey was found.

“The value of this jersey was €39 and not recovered.”

Sgt Daly said Mr Maughan was a man who had 21 previous convictions, one of which related to theft that dated from a hearing before Swords District Court in May 2021.

That resulted in a €200 fine and a subsequent six month driving ban, he added.

In defence, solicitor Brid Mimnagh opened her mitigation on behalf of Mr Maughan by handing in €40 to cover the cost of the stolen jersey.

She said Mr Maughan was someone who no longer resident in Longford and was fully acceptive of his culpability.

“You won’t see him around here again,” Ms Mimnagh told Judge Owens.

“He has eight children and it (theft) was an opportunist matter.

“He takes full responsibility and he is very anxious to say to the court there is a co accused and that it was completely his idea and as far as he was concerned and it was he who did this in order to get that jersey for the child.”

Ms Mimnagh told of having run her eye over CCTV taken from the scene, telling the court the State’s presentation of the case was very much accurate in its delivery.

“He apologises, he has paid it back and he is very sorry and he is sorry for implicating another person in it,” she said.

Judge Owens, in giving her verdict, said she was taking into account Mr Maughan’s acceptance of guilt and his offer of compensation to the court.

She consequently fined him €150, giving him four months to pay.

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