Car thief who was kicked out of house party is jailed

A Ballinfoyle man who broke into two cars after being kicked out of a house party has been sentenced to 10 months in jail and disqualified from driving for two years.

The Galway District Court heard last Monday one car had to be written off after Chris Anderson and an accomplice broke into it. The 27-year-old with an address at 73 Ballinfoyle Park, Headford Road, pleaded guilty to unauthorised taking of and interfering with an MPV at Cnoc Na Coille, Fort Lorenzo, on April 26, 2009. Criminal damage charges at Bru Na Mara, Salthill, on the same date were withdrawn.

Inspector Sean Glynn told the court that at 10am the owner of a vehicle discovered that his vehicle had been interfered with and that damage had been caused to the steering. The defendant was arrested along with another person. He was brought to Galway Garda Station where it was discovered that he had interfered with another vehicle in the same area. This car had been moved from where it had been parked and it was also damaged. The total damage to one vehicle was €800 and it had to be written off as a result.

Anderson’s previous convictions include a two year sentence in July 2007 for criminal damage and a 10 month suspended sentence in February 2007 for drug possession and public order offences.

Defence solicitor Sarah O’Dowd said that her client, who is currently unemployed, had been co-operative with gardai. She said that Anderson had admitted sitting into the vehicles and taking them but insists he had not caused the damage. The court heard that the defendant had been highly intoxicated and had been at a house party in the area. After being told to leave the house, he realised he didn’t have a way home and it had been a “joint decision” with another person to break into the cars.

“He got two years for exactly the same offence. This car may have been a ‘96 but it was good enough for the person who had it and as a result of his actions it had to be written off,” said Judge Mary Fahy before sentencing.

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