Thief caught boarding train with €500 bike

A man with 102 previous convictions — 29 of which were for theft — was caught boarding a train in Killarney with a €500 bicycle he had earlier taken from a cycle shop, along with two jumpers from a shop near the railway station, Killarney District Court was told.

He was remanded in custody overnight.

Mark Purcell, aged 44, of Orchard View, Banteer, Co Cork, pleaded guilty to three charges including the theft of two jumpers worth €72 from Leading Labels, a shop at the Killarney Outlet Centre, and a white Trek bicycle, the property of Derry O’Sullivan from O’Sullivan’s bike shop in High St.

Sgt Kieran O’Connell outlined how, on the afternoon of December 12, at around 3.10pm, gardaí observed a man pushing a bike into the railway station when a report came over the Garda radio that a bike had been stolen from O’Sullivan’s.

Mr Purcell admitted taking the bike.

“He also had two jumpers, taken from Leading Labels, with the security tags still on, ” the sergeant said.

However, Purcell had tried “to scrape off” the bike’s identifying number and caused €120 criminal damage to it, the court was told.

Solicitor Padraig O’Connell said he was not being facetious but his client had taken the bike “rolled it out of the shop, wheeled it through the streets, and felt the train might be faster”.

The father of two did not attempt to conceal the theft, the solicitor said.

The solicitor said his client knew “jail is on the cards”.

Mr O’Connell pleaded with Judge James O’Connor for leniency and to allow Purcell to pay for the damage to the bike.

Purcell told the judge he would have to be in the post office in Banteer today to collect his social welfare.

“What brings you to Killarney from Banteer? There’s bigger towns,” the judge said, remanding him in custody overnight.

Mr O’Connell said he would try to collect his client’s social welfare payment or have it collected.


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