Judge Seamus Hughes
A man who appeared at Longford District Court last week charged under the Theft & Fraud Offences Act was convicted and fined €400 following a hearing into the matter.
John Keenan (24), 37 Palace Crescent, Longford appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with handling a stolen car trailer at Palace Crescent, Longford on August 9, 2017.
Outlining the evidence to the court, Inspector Bláithín Moran said the case centered around the theft of a trailer from a private residence in Ardagh between August 2 and 3, 2017.
The court heard that it was a week later before the injured party discovered that his trailer was being advertised for sale on Donedeal.ie.
“The injured party contacted gardaí about the matter and they arranged for an off-duty garda to view the trailer,” added Inspector Moran.
“Contact was made and an arrangement was organised to meet the seller outside St Mel’s Cathedral.”
The court went on to hear that when the garda arrived at the Cathedral, the defendant met him and told him the trailer was at an address in Longford town.
“The Garda was directed to Palace Crescent and when he went there the defendant’s brother Thomas Oliver Keenan was by the trailer,” the Inspector continued.
In mitigation, the defendant’s solicitor Bríd Mimnagh said that her client had purchased the trailer at the local market on the Athlone Road during the August Bank Holiday weekend.
“He paid €100 for it and took it home where he made plans to do it up,” she told Judge Hughes.
The Judge then asked the defendant who he bought the trailer from and he replied: “From the fella that was selling it.”
Mr Keenan went on to say that he didn’t realise the property was stolen and if he had known, he would not have purchased it.
“If I knew it was stolen, I wouldn’t have been selling it from outside my house, Your Honour,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ms Mimnagh said that her client had painted the trailer and put new mud guards on it following the purchase.
“His intention then was to sell it on,” she added.
“He is a married man with one child and comes from a family of 11 children.”
The local solicitor also pointed out to the court that once gardaí spoke to the defendant about the matter, he had been very forthcoming.
“He admitted everything to the Gardaí and said he would never steal a trailer from a man,” Ms Mimnagh added.
“He apologises for what happened and has been apologetic from the beginning.”
Meanwhile, during his deliberations on the matter, Judge Hughes said that his job in the case before him was to “reflect the expectation of the people of this county”.
“Somebody comes along and steals something, then as far as this court is concerned, they should go to jail,” he fumed.
“I don’t want this type of carry on to start happening in my district area.”
The Judge subsequently convicted the defendant and fined him accordingly before bringing matters to a conclusion.