Judge hits Longford man in pocket over Ed Sheeran tickets

Longford man pocketed €330 but never handed concert tickets over

Longford Leader

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65 child care applications in 2015

A man who appeared at last week’s sitting of Longford Circuit Court appealing the severity of a sentence handed down in the district court after he was convicted by Judge Seamus Hughes, was ordered to pay €300 in compensation to the injured party in the case by May 24 next.

Charles McDonagh (27), 62 Dun Darrach, Dublin Road, Longford appeared before Judge Keenan Johnson convicted of stealing registration plates valued at €30 at Palace Crescent, Ardnacassa, Longford on February 21, 2016.

He was also further charged with being dishonest by deception and inducing Elaine Mason to lodge €330 into an AIB bank account with the intention of making a gain for himself at AIB, Main Street, Longford on March 5, 2015.

Outlining the case to the court, State solicitor Mark Connellan said the matter centred around a conviction under the Theft & Fraud Offences Act in the district court, last July, in which the defendant was sentenced to two months in prison after Judge Seamus Hughes handed down a one month consecutive prison sentence on each charge before him.

The defendant was also fined €500 in respect of the matter.

“On March 5, 2013 Elaine Mason and her two friends tried to get tickets for the Ed Sheeran concert,” said Mr Connellan before pointing out that one of Ms Mason’s friends later placed an add on Done Deal for three tickets.

“The defendant contacted the ladies and told them he had three tickets for the concert and the cost would be €330.”

The court was then told that Ms Mason and her friends felt that the defendant was genuine and the cost of the tickets was reasonable.

However, the court heard that once the ladies transferred the money into the defendant’s account, that was the last they heard from him.

The tickets for the Ed Sheeran concert never arrived, pointed out Mr Connellan.

Then, the court heard that on another occasion, a man in Longford town left his house early one morning and came back later that day only to find that the two number plates on his vehicle had been removed.

“He was certain,” added Mr Connellan, “that the number plates were on the van when he left that morning”.

The court was then told that the defendant held a number of previous convictions for minor road traffic offences and when arrested in connection with the matters before the court, “had made full admissions”.

In mitigation, the defendant’s solicitor Trish Cronin said her client was a 27-year-old man who had paid over €400 in compensation during the district court hearing into the matter.

“He is a young man who is married with a 10-week-old baby,” she added, before pointing out that the defendant’s wife was currently dealing with her own difficulties.

“He has medical difficulties also and is awaiting surgery at the moment.”

Ms Cronin went on to say that her client had made full admissions with regards to the matters in the district court and was now concerned only, with being there for his wife.

“I would ask that, in the circumstances, the sentence be suspended,” Ms Cronin continued.

“He has assured me that he won’t be coming before the courts again.”

During his deliberations on the matter, Judge Johnson said that three ladies handed over a sum of money for Ed Sheeran tickets that they never received.

“I am sure they were very disappointed,” the Judge added, before pointing out that it was a concert that he would have liked to attend himself.

“I think Ed Sheeran is a very good artist and I wouldn’t have minded going to the concert myself! However, this is a very sinister act and not acceptable.”

The Judge subsequently ordered the defendant to pay over €300 in compensation and once that money was furnished to the court, then and only then would he consider suspending the sentence, he added.

The matter will appear back before Longford Circuit Court on May 24 next when it is expected that the compensation will be paid in full.