A man with psychiatric difficulties who stole a €500 flatscreen television from a Tesco outlet was given a suspended jail sentence as the judge warned he could not hide behind his depression to avoid jail.
Judge Olann Kelleher noted that the man had not been able to raise any compensation for the thefts he carried out and was unable to work. The judge said he had considered giving Connie O’Donoghue, aged 28, of 9 St Anthony’s Park, Knocknaheeny, Cork, a community service order.
Following submissions from Frank Buttimer, defending, about self-harm, admissions to the psychiatric unit of a hospital, and anti-depressive medication to control O’Donoghue’s problems, Judge Kelleher said he would impose a six-month jail term
, suspended on condition that he would keep the peace for the next two years.
Judge Kelleher warned O’Donoghue that if he committed an offence anywhere in the country in the next two years, he would face jail.
“You cannot hide behind your depression,” warned the judge.
Inspector Daniel Coholan said O’Donoghue stole the TV from Tesco in Wilton on November 19, 2016. It was never recovered.
The inspector said his understanding was that O’Donoghue sold the stolen property.
On December 29, he went to Dunnes Stores in Douglas Court and stole €168 worth of items.
The compensation that was required from O’Donoghue amounts to the total of those two thefts, €668.
There was a third theft to which O’Donoghue also pleaded guilty, but he was caught in the act and the goods were returned to the store.
Insp Coholan said that third offence was committed on January 30, 2017, at Dunnes Stores in Douglas Court, when he rolled a trolley containing €209 worth of goods out of the shop without paying. However, he was stopped as soon as he got out the door.
Mr Buttimer said O’Donoghue co-operated with the investigation and pleaded guilty to the crimes.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved