‘You don’t want to work, you’d prefer to be robbing’

A man who has at least 93 previous convictions was sentenced to seven months in jail at Tralee District Court yesterday after pleading guilty to stealing cash from a Killarney shop.

Tony Coffey, aged 27, of No 9 Cahereens West, Castleisland, currently serving a sentence for assault , pleaded guilty to the theft that occurred on April 16 last year. He went in the side door of Gala Supermarket, High St, Killarney, went upstairs, and stole €300 cash from a float till. He also stole a bottle of wine valued at €9, said Sgt Kieran O’Connell, prosecuting.

Mr Coffey’s solicitor Padraig O’Connell said his client, who probably had no recollection of the event, just walked in the door and up the stairs where he came across the money.

Judge James O’Connor said Tony Coffey was “bright enough” and alert enough to make his way upstairs and steal the money.

The judge said he was going to jail him as society and businesses in the county “have to be protected”.

“You’re drawing social welfare and never worked a day in your life,” the judge told him.

He was almost 28. He could have got work during the boom, he could look for work in the hotel industry in Killarney, but he chose not to, the judge said.

“You’re asleep until midday and getting up and targeting decent people trying to make a living” the judge said.

Asked if he had ever applied for a job, Coffey replied ‘no’.

“You don’t want to work, you’d prefer to be out robbing,” the judge said.


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