A man who appeared before Longford District Court last week charged with criminal damage in Edgeworthstown was sentenced to four months in prison following a hearing into the matter.
Aivars Maldonis, Fyhora, Moyne, Co Longford appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with entering a shed belonging to J&M Gift Stores, Main Street, Edgeworthstown with the intention of stealing stock on March 19, 2016.
Outlining the evidence to the court, Garda Moolick said that on the date in question the defendant entered a shed at the back of a store on Main Street, Edgeworthstown, “with the intention of stealing stock”.
The Garda went on to say that the defendant was later arrested in respect of another matter but admitted the offence on Main Street.
“He admitted that he entered the shed with the intention of stealing,” said Garda Moolick.
“We believe that a fire was started in the shed and extensive damage was caused as a result of that fire.
“The shed was broken into at approximately 5am.”
The court was then told that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) decided not to prosecute in relation to the fire.
The court went on to hear that the defendant also admitted to gardaí during questioning that he lit a paper napkin when he entered the shed so that he could see the stock that was there.
In mitigation, the defendant’s solicitor Aine Gordon said that her client was a Latvian national who had been in Ireland for four years.
The court also heard that the defendant had a partner and two children aged 10 and 11 years.
“He had a problem with alcohol at the time of the offence,” continued Ms Gordon.
“He is serving a sentence currently and is attending alcohol counselling.”
During his deliberations on the matter, Judge Hughes said the defendant had a problem with drink when he broke into the shed and asked him directly why he had chosen a life of crime?
“You come to this country to become a career criminal,” the Judge fumed at Mr Maldonis.
Responding to the Judge, the defendant said; “I am not coming to Ireland to do that; I want to work”.
Judge Hughes subsequently sentenced the defendant to four months in prison and ordered that it be served concurrently to the term already being served.