A perfume thief confessed to his crime to Gardai after seeing himself appear on television committing the offence on RTÉ’s Crimecall, a court has heard.
The €198 theft at Rochford’s Pharmacy in Ennis of two perfume bottles in February 2019 went unsolved for one year before CCTV footage of the theft by father of six, Ioan Zomant (aged 55), was broadcast on Crimecall on February 26 this year.
In response to the public appeal for information around the theft, Sgt Aiden Lonergan stated the following day Mr Zomant phoned Ennis Garda Station where he nominated himself as the suspect in the footage shown on TV.
At Ennis District Court, Judge Patrick Durcan jailed Mr Zomant of Castlewood Gardens, Carlow, for four months, saying that he posed a danger to every single pharmacy in County Clare and beyond.
Judge Durcan said that Mr Zomant “can’t be going around torpedoing pharmacies and I am imprisoning him - four months”.
He made his comment after being told by Sgt Lonergan that the accused had four previous convictions for theft.
Judge Durcan said: “We have to bring this to an end and his little run must now be called to a halt.”
Judge Durcan asked what would happen to Mr Zomant in his native Romania “if he went around pocketing high-quality and high-price items consistently and persistently?”
Sgt Lonergan said that Mr Zomant’s previous convictions for theft were recorded at district courts at Tullamore, Dungarvan and Waterford.
Sgt Lonergan added that the theft convictions recorded at Dungarvan and Waterford district courts were for two separate theft offences committed on the same day.
In response, Judge Durcan remarked: “Irish tourism - visit the chemist shops”.
The CCTV footage from Rochford’s Parnell Street outlet in Ennis provided to Garda Eoin McCabe showed Mr Zomant pocketing Lancome La Vie valued at €112 and LVEB La Rose valued at €88 before exiting the shop.
Solicitor for Mr Zomant, Monica Roche, said that her client had come forward for the offence by phoning Gardaí after his appearance on Crimecall.
Judge Durcan stated that this was in her client’s favour. Mr Zomant - who pleaded guilty to the theft - also handed over €200 compensation in court for the pharmacy.
Ms Roche said that Mr Zomant had not committed any offence since February 2019 and told Judge Durcan that Mr Zomant is originally from Romania and is a father of six children, four of whom are adults.
Judge Durcan said that he should show responsibility to his children. He said: “He has four convictions for the same thing.”
The judge fixed bail terms, in the event of an appeal by Mr Zomant against the prison term to the circuit court.
Judge Durcan adjourned the approval of an independent surety for Mr Zomant to secure bail to tomorrow in order to allow gardaí to satisfy themselves as to the identity of the independent surety.
Mr Zomant was then led away by gardai to be transferred to Limerick prison to begin his four-month prison term.