A man has been jailed for 14 months for stealing almost €2,000 worth of “hot pants and things like that” from the back of a delivery truck.
Noel Dempsey (61) of Stanaway Road, Crumlin, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to stealing four boxes of women’s clothes from a lorry on Wicklow Street, Dublin on August 13 2013.
Garda Joseph Heaphy told James Dwyer BL, prosecuting, that a lorry driver had collected boxes of Pull & Bear clothes from Henry Street early in the morning and driven to Wicklow Street.
The driver stepped away from the lorry for five minutes and noticed on his return that the lorry’s tail lift had been interfered with.
He discovered that four boxes were missing and reported the incident to gardaí. Dempsey was identified on CCTV footage as one of two men taking the boxes and driving away with them in a van.
The van was linked to Dempsey and gardaí went to his home where they found the boxes in his van.
The clothes, which were never recovered, were valued at €1,988.
Gda Heaphy agreed with Keith Spencer BL, defending, that the boxes were full of women's clothing, “hot pants and things like that”.
Dempsey's 99 previous convictions include 27 theft related offences and 67 road traffic offences.
The company from which the clothes were collected is no longer trading but the court heard that there was no evidence which linked this incident to the clothing company shutting down.
Mr Spencer told the court that Dempsey has undergone chemotherapy treatment for prostate cancer which is currently in remission. He has also undergone five coronary bypass operations and has had 21 stents placed in his heart.
Judge Karen O'Connor said Dempsey’s health conditions, his guilty plea and his bereavement were all mitigating factors in her sentencing.
She said that 2013 was a difficult time for businesses to survive and the loss of €2,000 worth of stock must have had an impact on the company. “It is in no way a victimless crime” Judge O'Connor.
She said that without mitigating factors she would have considered a sentence of two and a half years.
Dempsey's first conviction occurred in May 1970 when Dempsey was fourteen years old. The court heard that none of his convictions were for offences of an aggressive or violent manner.
He is currently serving time in prison for theft convictions and has been in custody since January 2017. He had been scheduled for release next February.
Dempsey lives with his wife, who sells flowers on Grafton Street, with whom he has five children. The court heard that one of their sons committed suicide in 2008.
Mr Spencer said Dempsey had abused both alcohol and drugs in the past but has completely detoxified from drugs in custody and is “seeing things clearly”.
Counsel described him as a “decent person at heart” who is “in the right place now to be released into the bosom of his family”.
The case has been set for trial four times. The trial date was pushed back twice due to a witness being on holiday in South Africa and once due to Dempsey’s ill health.