Cork City Council gave a young man a €23,000 mobile home on a rental basis to live in and he arranged for a crane and haulier to remove it to Co Kildare.
Detective Garda Mick Dolan said yesterday that it was only when the mobile home was being moved by an associate of the young man from the yard in Kildare to a third location that gardaí intercepted and seized it.
Michael Stokes, aged 22, of 12 St Anthony’s Park, Dave McCarthy Road, Knocknaheeny, was sentenced to 18 months in jail at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday on the theft charge.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said: “This is a significant crime. I am still at a loss to understand why he would do it. The Corpo go out of their way to him a new home. And what does he do? He hires a crane and has it moved to a suitable location in Co Kildare.
“There is a distinct methodology to this which is an aggravating factor.
“Taking property that was given to him out of the public purse is also an aggravating factor.
“The appropriate sentence is two years, I will suspend the last six months.”
Det Garda Dolan said that when the city council gave the young man the mobile home, they made it clear to him that he was renting it and was not the owner of it.
When he got it, he arranged for a crane hire and haulier to bring it to a yard in Pollardstown, Co Kildare.
He pleaded guilty to the charge that at this address he stole a €23,000 Delta Sontana mobile home.
Defence barrister, Brendan Kelly, said it was not the most sophisticated theft.
“It was obvious he was going to be caught.”
Judge Ó Donnabháin replied: “You obviously haven’t been to Pollardstown.”
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