A man who thought he could get away with the theft of 19 cylinders of gas by adjusting the angle of a CCTV camera, was fined €1,000 in the District Court this week (June 10 ) when he forgot to look for any others.
Inspector Nicholas Farrell told the court how, on the night of April 18, Peter Doyle (43 ), with an address at Ceathru na gClogh, Athlone drove up to Monksland Service Station at around 1.30am, broke a lock and made away with the cylinders, some briquettes and logs, worth a total of €555.
“A CCTV camera seems to have been adjusted before the crime,” Inspector Farrell told the court.
However, there was another camera on the premises and with that, the Gardai were able to identify Doyle's car.
When they called to his house they found all the stolen property which was fully recovered.
“Though there was some element of premeditation involved, he did co-operate with the gardai,” said his solicitor, Mr Padraig Quinn, who handed in two letters to the judge in mitigation for his client.
“He has had a serious substance abuse issue and had a recent relapse after getting involved in a [fatal] road traffic accident.
“He has taken steps and has an acceptance interview at Cuan Mhuire [detox centre].”
“How long has he been involved with heroin?” asked Judge John Neilan.
“He has it under control,” said Mr Quinn.
“An addiction is never under control until you die,” said the judge.
“You know within five minutes of leaving the courthouse where to buy heroin but would you lift a phone and tell Gardai X, Y, and Z were dealing heroin? I don't think so,” said Judge Neilan.
“Your last child was born in 2007. What would you think when that child is 12 or 13 or 14 and the drug pushers of Athlone are looking at him?” asked the judge before fining Doyle €1,000 and curiously banning him from driving for three years.