Judge Leo Malone said: “It is my experience from these courts that if you try and steal something from Debenham’s or Brown Thomas or any of the big stores their security systems are very good and it is a stupid person who tries to do it.”
Cases of shoplifting at such outlets come before Cork District Court with great frequency.
The judge made his comments when the latest case of its kind came before him.
Michael O’Donnell, aged 31, of 6 Lotamore Avenue, Mayfield, Cork, went to Debenham’s on December 4 2014 and filled his bag with €894 worth of fragrances.
Inspector John Deasy said O’Donnell left the store without paying for the property.
He was stopped by a store detective as soon as he left the premises, three weeks before Christmas.
Gardai were called and the accused admitted the offence. He had 40 previous convictions, 15 of them for theft.
Eddie Burke, solicitor, said the defendant’s most recent theft convictions dated back some years. Inspector Deasy confirmed that the last one was in court in 2009.
“This was a slip. He is a young man who went through a desperate time with addiction. He has been to rehabilitation. He did have a slip on this date.
Judge Malone convicted and fined the accused €500 for the theft or 45 days in prison in default of payment.