Jail for a jar of coffee?

A man will discover in a fortnight whether he will have to face jail for shoplifting a jar of coffee worth less than €3, it was revealed in the District Court this week (November 17 ).

Gordon Dowling (33 ), with an address at Grove House, Baylough, Athlone was in court to plead guilty to a single charge of “shoplifting by deception” from the Grove Shop in Baylough on October 26, according to Superintendent Aidan Glacken, but that he did so whilst on a suspended sentence on other matters.

“He had bought some items, but concealed some others worth about €2.60,” said the superintendent, who then told the court Dowling had 27 previous convictions.

Judge Eamon O’Brien said he didn’t have the full facts on the Section 99 [offending whilst on a suspended sentence] issue, and so decided to adjourn sentencing until December 1 to allow time to clarify this situation.

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