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28 May 2022

Man fined €3,500 over discovery of stolen power tools at Longford property

Longford Courthouse.

A man is to appeal against a court’s decision to find him guilty of multiple handling stolen property charges.

A man is to appeal against a court’s decision to find him guilty of multiple handling stolen property charges.

Willam Maughan (53) of Clonart North, Bornacoola, was sentenced to one month in prison and fined €3,500 in connection to the theft of a series of power tools which had been found at a 9 Dolmen Court, Aughnacliffe, Co Longford on January 10, 2020.

Garda Padraig Fahy told the court how he had received information on January 9 2020 over claims the accused had been in the possession of power tools which were suspected as being stolen.

The following day, a search warrant was obtained at Mullingar District Court under Section 8 of the Theft and Fraud Offences Act.

Garda Fahy said when he and a number of other gardaí from Granard garda station arrived at the property shortly before 1pm, a red Transit van was observed outside the front of the house unlocked.

Upon opening the vehicle, Garda Fahy said a cache of power tools as well as various bric a brac items were discovered.

A more in depth scope of the property found further tools being discovered in a polytunnel in a back garden.

Garda Fahy revealed how a similar number of items were found in a back bedroom while a kango hammer was also retrieved at the side of the house.

Mr Maughan was later questioned over the items during which he claimed he bought most of the items from a market in Birmingham.

Asked whether he could provide receipts for any of the tools which were found, Mr Maughan said: “It's not a shop, it's a market.”

Mr Maughan said in the witness box he had travelled to England with €1,200 but later admitted he had spent “around €8,000 give or take”.

The court also heard accounts via videolink from a number of alleged injured parties who were identified as the owners of the stolen power tools.

Judge Brendan O'Reilly in delivering his verdict, said Mr Maughan was “very fortunate” to have a solicitor of the ilk of John Quinn in his corner after deciding at the eleventh hour to plead guilty to the alleged offences.

He consequently sentenced Mr Maughan to one month in prison and fined him a total of €3,500 in the process.

Mr Maughan indicated he would be appealing the sentence with an independent surety of €3,000 including a cash lodgement of €1,000 to be approved by the court.

That was later handed in by an extended family member with the case being put back to May 18.

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