A man who appeared before Longford District Court earlier this week charged under the Theft and Fraud Offences Act received a nine month suspended prison sentence following a hearing into the matter.
Charles Reilly (26), 37 Farnagh, Longford appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with stealing a handbag with €140 in cash at St Mel’s Cathedral, Longford on March 21, 2018.
Outlining the evidence to the court, Sergeant Paddy McGirl said that on the date in question, the defendant took the handbag from a lady who was at the Cathedral.
The Sergeant also pointed out that Mr Reilly had been “engaging in this type of behaviour” to feed a drugs habit.
“There are 13 charges all of which were carried out within a short period of time,” Sergeant McGirl continued.
Judge Hughes meanwhile said he would be happy to see the defendant “committing” to residential treatment in respect of his difficulties.
“The problem is though, you won’t,” remarked the Judge as he addressed the defendant directly.
“You said you would do this on the last occasion you were before me and you walked out the door of this courtroom and engaged in criminal activity that very afternoon.”
Tom Ryder from the Probation Service then told the court that he had been working with the defendant “unsuccessfully” over the last few months.
“He doesn’t attend meetings,” he added.
During his ruling on the matter Judge Hughes said the defendant had gotten hooked on heroin and “that would change any man”.
“I need to take the community into account too,” the Judge added, before pointing out that it was a simple fact the defendant could only reabilitate in prison.
Judge Hughes subsequently sentenced the defendant to nine months in prison suspending it for three years.
“You are on thin ice with this court, Mr Reilly,” the Judge warned.
“If you steal so much as a ice lolly you will go to prison for nine months.”
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