‘The nappy defence does not work in this court’

“The nappy defence does not work in this court,” a Circuit Court judge told a man who stole €13,695 from Hillbilly’s takeaway on Grand Parade, Cork, because his girlfriend was expecting a baby and he was unemployed.

Judge Donagh McDonagh made the comment as Michael Stryczek, aged 28, of O’Connell St, Blackpool, Cork, yesterday faced sentencing for burglary and theft. He admitted carrying out the crime on September 22, 2015.

Ray Boland, defending, applied to have sentencing adjourned. He said the Polish man had been living in Ireland for five years and was in a stable relationship and had a good employment history.

“Just before this offence he was in very straitened circumstances with a baby on the way,” Mr Boland said.

The judge replied: “The nappy defence does not work in this court. When you have small children you have to recognise that winding up with a criminal record does nothing for the child.”

The judge did agree to put sentencing back until April 27. Mr Boland said: “I won’t mention Pampers at the sentencing.”

Mr Boland said the man would benefit from the preparation of a probation report to set out his background in advance of sentencing. He also said the defendant had sufficient English not to require a translator in court yesterday. However, he said the Department of Social Protection had recommended that he attend an English language course.

Judge McDonagh said he would adjourn to allow the man attend the course:

“Finding a course in English does not require a probation report. If he wants to do an English course why should I involve the probation service? I may, at the end of sentencing, decide to direct a probation report. Why would I waste an astonishing amount of money and drive the probation service completely around the bend?”

The man had no previous convictions.


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