An alcoholic burglar, who liked to steal from unlocked cars,was jailed for 22 months at the District Court in Athlone this week (January 27 ).
Peter Quinn (34 ), with an address at Grange Meadows, Mullingar but formerly from Athlone was charged with six burglaries and three counts of criminal damage between May 15 and Christmas Eve.
Detectives Cunniffe and Hession read out all the charges to which Quinn replied, when formally charged: “I’m pleading guily to them all”.
On May 15 he took a Stihl chainsaw worth €200 from a car in Brawney, and on November 11 and 15 at the Regional Sports Centre he stole two handbags, a drill ,and a DVD player worth €240 in total from two different cars.
On December 11 and 24 at Coosan Point he stole two more handbags whose contents were valued in total at €330, and at some pointt between December 1 and 24, he took a copper cylinder worth €80 from an unoccupied house in Meadowbrook. None of the goods were recovered, the court heard.
On December 21 he broke two windows at St Mary’s Place, valued €80 each and did €300 worth of damage to a car on Gracepark Road.
No compensation had been offered or paid in any of these cases either, Det Gda Hession told the court.
Noting the defendant attended court from the dock, Judge John Neilan was told Quinn was jailed for 11 months on September 11 for six counts of theft.
“My client has a considerable difficulty with alcohol consumption and dependency,” said his solicitor, Mr Padraig Quinn.
“He accepts a further prison sentence is inevitable today. He has asked for what it’s worth, and it’s probably worth very little, to apologise to all the victims.”
“He seems to have a ready market for everything,” said the judge.
“Imagine Judge John Neilan going down the street with a copper cylinder on his shoulder. What would happen?
“The line between those who steal and those who receive is very thin. No chance of compensation?” asked the judge.
“No reality of it,” said Mr Quinn.
The judge was curious about the broken windows on St Mary’s Place, particularly as they belonged to elderly people but Mr Quinn reassured him it was without malice.
“It was more a case of him falling against them,” he said.
“Was he co-operative, Superintendent?” the judge asked Supt Aidan Glacken, prosecuting.
“He was, judge, but that doesn’t redeem the stolen property,” said the Superintendent.
Judge Neilan gave the defendant a further 22 months in prison on two sample counts and ordered the other eight 11-month sentences to run concurrently.
For an appeal, he set bail at €300, with an independent surety of €900 and ordered Quinn get all the appropriate treatment for alcohol addiction.