Cork shoplifter spared jail after telling court of charitable works

The court heard that the defendant had done a lot of work to raise money for charities, including fundraising cycles for Cork Penny Dinners
Cork shoplifter spared jail after telling court of charitable works

John Paul Long admitted to stealing €62 worth of candles at Lidl on Cornmarket Street, Cork. File photo: Des Barry

A Cork man who admitted two counts of shoplifting told of his charitable works in court – including his captaincy of the Ireland team for a homeless soccer competition in Portugal.

John Paul Long of 29 Orchard Court, Blackpool, Cork, pleaded guilty to carrying out a theft at Lidl on Cornmarket Street, Cork, on November 5, 2020, when he stole €62 worth of candles.

He pleaded guilty to another shoplifting offence when he stole €74 worth of property at Mr Price on North Main Street, Cork.

Sergeant Gearóid Davis said the accused had 69 previous convictions including two counts of theft.

Joseph Cuddigan, solicitor, said on behalf of the defendant that he had done a lot of work to raise money for charities, including fundraising cycles for Cork Penny Dinners.

Mr Cuddigan said the defendant had captained the Ireland soccer team in a six-a-side international tournament in Portugal where former Manchester United player Ryan Giggs was lending his support to the charitable event.

In relation to his shoplifting, the defendant had paid all of the money back to the affected stores, the solicitor said.

Judge Olann Kelleher imposed a four-month sentence on John Paul Long. However, he suspended it on condition that the accused would keep the peace for the next two years.

“You will do the four months if you commit any further offences in the next two years.

“Despite the charitable work you are doing you cannot take the property of the people of Cork City,” the judge said.

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