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09 Aug 2022

Judge jails man for stealing victim's dole money

Judge  jails man for stealing victim's dole money

A man with almost 60 previous convictions has been jailed for one month after being convicted of stealing a man’s social welfare weekly payment, a court has heard.
Daniel Kavanagh (28) Peter McVerry Trust, 77A St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, pleaded guilty to an offence under the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud) Offences Act at last week’s sitting of Longford District Court following an incident on November 15 2021 at Longford Post Office.
Sergeant Enda Daly, for the State said gardaí had been alerted to a possible theft having taken place after receiving notification from a member of the public in the immediate aftermath of the incident.
He said in the immediate aftermath of an investigation having been launched, Mr Kavanagh was identified and later spotted by Garda Joe Kavanagh where full admissions in relation to the alleged theft were made by the accused.
“On November 17, 2021 at New Street, Longford, gardaí received reports of a male that his social welfare had been collected at Longford Post Office by an unknown male without his consent,” he said.
“CCTV footage was viewed of the defendant collecting the money and a description was taken.
“Garda Kavanagh was on mobile patrol on November 17 and observed a male he had seen on CCTV footage walking down the street. He was stopped and the defendant gave his name and was asked about the incident and a voluntary caution statement was taken from him in which he fully admitted the offence using a temporary social welfare card in the name of the injured party.”
The court was informed the accused had been approached by a female who agreed to hand Mr Kavanagh €40 to collect the social welfare payment on behalf of her son who was incarcerated at the time.
Judge Bernadette Owens was also told Mr Kavanagh, who was in custody at the time of last week’s hearing on unrelated matters, was an individual with 57 previous convictions to his name.
Defence counsel Andrea Callan said her client was in no way deviating from his behaviour on the day, saying the offence was largely attributable to Mr Kavanagh’s ongoing battle with addiction related issues.
“The context in relation to the offence speaks for itself. He was a gentleman who was approached by another individual and made full admissions at the time,” she said.
“He needed money. He was homeless up until recently and is in custody on another matter and has had somewhat of a chaotic last few months.
“He seems to have regulariosed his position somewhat and he wants to remain in custody during which he wants to get himself a treatment place.
“A lot of his offending behaviour and in particular this offence is related to addiction issues.”
Ms Callan asked the court to consider structuring a sentence that would allow Mr Kavanagh, take up a spell with a suitable treatment centre in due course.
Judge Owens, in running the rule over Mr Kavanagh’s previous track record noted that there were no recent indiscretions that were recorded over the past two year period.
She also alluded to how Mr Kavanagh’s early guilty plea and admissions of remorse had saved the State considerable time and effort in following through with their prosecution.
“The only relevant previous conviction goes back to 2019,” she said.
“I am also taking into account Mr Kavanagh has pleaded and it strikes me had he not and had it gone to a full hearing there may have been issues arising in proving the case and Mr Kavanagh is entitled to credit for that.”
She sentenced Mr Kaavanagh to one month in prison in connection to a Section 4 theft charge.
An accompanying Section 26 charge of using a false social welfare card was taken into consideration.

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