A man who stole from the blind, from a barber, as well as a rent payment from a staff locker while on bail was sentenced to a further year in jail in the District Court in Athlone this week (October 3 ).
Edward McDonagh (34 ) from Clonguish Court, Newtownforbes, Co Longford appeared in court from Castlerea Prison, where he is serving an 11-month sentence handed down in Longford on September 18.
The court heard how McDonagh was detected in part by CCTV, but also from the taximan whom he paid €70 to get home from Mullingar on the night of his burglary spree in the town.
On the night of June 27, between midnight and 2.30am, the premises of the National Council for the Blind, Bates Barbers on Castle Street, and the County Enterprise Board on Church Avenue were all broken into and a total of €290 taken.
Though not initially detected, McDonagh made admissions about these crimes when arrested three weeks later on an unrelated matter, and when gardaí re-investigated with this information, were able to pinpoint the defendant on CCTV, and his mode of transport home.
Then, on September 2, McDonagh was in Spollens supermarket in Glasson, and after buying a few items, enquired after the toilet key.
He was directed to the back of the premises where he went into staff quarters and took a smart phone and €13 from one locker, and €500 from another which was to be used for rent.
Again he was detected by CCTV, and returned the phone, but not the money, when arrested.
After hearing how McDonagh had 80 previous convictions since 2002, Judge Seamus Hughes wanted to know how he was got bail in Mullingar.
“Why would the State - the DPP and the Garda Siochána - be happy to give him station bail, and his life is a full-time criminal career. Had he been remanded he wouldn’t’ve been able to go into Spollens. I’m only making the point,” said the judge.
McDonagh claimed he took up drugs in 2002 after the death of his father, but was attending counselling in prison.
Judge Hughes enquired from his prison guards as to when McDonagh was scheduled for release, and was told May 25, 2013.
He then sentenced McDonagh to six months in prison for the Mullingar thefts, six months for the Glasson thefts whilst on bail, and ordered both of these be served consecutively with his present sentence.