Drug dealer caught stealing jewellery given suspended sentence

A drug dealer who was caught by a plain clothes garda stealing two boxes of jewellery and clothes from a delivery van has been given a three year suspended sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Stuart Behan, (aged 28) of Aishling Close, Crumlin, stole the items worth over €18,000, to try and raise money to help pay his sister’s car insurance.

He pleaded guilty to the theft of jewellery and clothes and resisting or wilfully obstructing a garda acting in the execution of his duty on September 1, 2006.

Judge Katherine Delahunt noted there was a positive probation report before the court and imposed a three year sentence on the theft charge which she suspended on strict conditions.

Judge Delahunt referred the matter back to the Probation Service to assess Behan’s suitability to perform 75 hours community service in lieu of a six month sentence on the obstruction charge.

She noted Behan had made efforts to try and improve his life and had not come to garda attention since the offences.

Garda Paul McMahon told Ms Geraldine Small BL, prosecuting, that the van was parked on the back streets of Grafton Street and the rear doors left open as the delivery man dropped off a number of pallets to the nearby Jigsaw clothing store.

Gda McMahon then saw Behan coming from the back of the van carrying two large boxes. He approached him and immediately arrested him on suspicion of theft.

Beehan said that he was sorry and he would bring the boxes back but as Gda McMahon was trying to restrain him he was distracted by two men trying to move Beehan’s van. He made attempts to hold onto the passenger of the vehicle and Beehan then started to struggle and tried to evade arrest.

He had 12 previous convictions including a nine year sentence in July 1998 after he was caught selling and supplying drugs.

Gda McMahon agreed with Mr Luigi Rea BL, defending, that Behan’s attempt to escape was foolish and accepted that he made no effort to assault him. He said there was no violence involved and described it as an opportunistic crime.

Mr Rea said that his client was very foolish to try and escape from Gda McMahon because it was his own van he was going to try and get away in.

He said he was trying to collect money to help raise money for insurance for his sister’s car and there was nothing more sinister in it than that.

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