A man who was seen on CCTV having a 100ml bottle of Ralph Lauren perfume dropped into his hood by another man denied having anything to do with shoplifting and said he did not know the fragrance was in his hood.
Garda Linda O’Keeffe asked 26-year-old Colm Folan why he was wearing the big hooded coat in the first place when it was a dry mild day and he was otherwise wearing a pair of shorts.
Folan laughed at this, the guard said, and then replied: “I felt cold when I left home today.”
Inspector Seán McCarthy prosecuted the case before Judge Con O’Leary at Cork District Court.
Folan did not show up for the case, which took 45 minutes of court time and required evidence from Garda O’Keeffe and store detective Akinwale Akinkuolie, both of whom were cross-examined by Folan’s solicitor, Michael Quinlan.
Judge O’Leary convicted Folan in his absence and put back sentencing until next week and said that he would issue a warrant for the arrest of Folan, of 44 St Michael’s Lawn, Mahon, if he does not show up on Thursday, April 11.
At one stage in the heavily contested case, Mr Quinlan asked Mr Akinkuolie how certain he was that Folan and the man with him did not bring the €99.50 perfume, found in Folan’s hood, to the store with them.
The store detective replied: “I am 110% sure they did not have the item [before they came into the store]. It is like me picking up the Bible here. They picked up the perfume. I am not mistaken. They did not pick this out of their back pocket. They took it off the shelf.”
He added that when staff scanned the product after the two men were asked to come back into the office of the shop, it scanned as a product belonging to Debenham’s of Mahon Point.
Folan told Garda O’Keeffe, who was then called to the store, that the other man took the perfume and popped it into his hood without him knowing it was there.
She said to him it was heavy and that you would notice the weight of it in your hood.
Folan replied that day — September 30, 2018 — in the Debenham’s office: “I disagree. Because I never noticed it going in.”
When it was put to him that he was wearing the coat with the big hood to go shoplifting, Folan replied: “No comment.”