A man, with 67 previous convictions and described as a “nuisance”, was fined this week for stealing aftershave and sweaters from city centre shops and then having a drink in a local pub and walking out without paying for it.
John Wall (53 ) with an address given as Fairgreen Hostel, Galway, and St Vincent’s Hostel, Anglesea Terrace, Cork, was brought before the holiday sitting of the Galway District Court last Tuesday where he pleaded guilty to stealing €349 worth of aftershave from Debenhams, Eyre Street, on November 17, 2008, stealing €224 worth of sweaters from Anthony Ryans, Shop Street, on January 22, 2009, and then obtaining alcohol and dishonestly making off without paying for it at The Living Room, Bridge Street, on June 3, 2009. He also pleaded guilty to three counts of failing to appear in court.
The court heard this week that the defendant had been arrested in Cork on foot of a number of bench warrants. Inspector Mick Coppinger said that Wall, accompanied by another man, entered Debenhams and the stole bottles of aftershave. “He has quite an expensive taste,” he quipped.
Two months later the defendant entered Anthony Ryans where he selected a number of sweaters and left the store without paying. He was followed by shop security staff and the property was recovered. The inspector then said on another occasion Wall went into The Living Room where he ordered alcohol knowing that he had no money to pay for it. “I can tell you that that property was not recovered,” he said.
Wall has 67 previous convictions for similar fraud related offences but Inspector Coppinger added that none of these involved violence.
“He’s not particularly adept at it,” noted Judge Conal Gibbons, who added that Wall seems to be “more of a nuisance to shops”.
Defence solicitor Adrian MacLynn said that the “common denominator is drink”. He said that his client, who is originally from Bruree, Co Limerick, has had a difficulty with drink throughout his life despite many efforts to rehabilitate.
Judge Gibbons convicted and fined Wall €250 with six months to pay.