A man who started with “the best of intentions” but succumbed to temptation “on a silly, spur of the moment decision”, was given the benefit of the Probation Act in court this week (September 22 ).
Judge David Anderson was told how Damien Conlon (41 ), of Assumption Road, Athlone had gone behind the counter in Il Colliseo restaurant on Northgate Street at around 2.30pm on May 31, moved a CCTV camera and took €30 that was there. Inspector Nicholas told the court the money was recovered and that Conlon had no previous convictions.
“He had the best of intentions,” said his solicitor, Mr Padraig Quinn.
“He had been in the bar downstairs and had noticed a leak from upstairs. He went upstairs to notify them and noticed the three €10 notes. It was a crime of opportunity.”
Mr Quinn went on to say how his client’s father had recently died and that the defendant was now looking after his elderly mother.
“It was a silly, spur-of-the-moment decision. He pleaded guilty at the first opportunity,”said Mr Quinn.
Acknowledging this, Judge Anderson gave Conlon the Probation Act, the mildest censure with which one can leave the District Court without the stain of a permanent conviction.