Man gets four months for store thefts

A man who claimed he stole aftershave, perfume, and clothes from city centre stores to provide for his family received four months in jail at Galway District Court this week.

Valerieu Goldan (35 ), with an address at Lisbrook House, Headford Road, appeared before Judge Mary Fahy on Monday and pleaded guilty to three counts of theft at Debenhams on December 27, 2009, at Dunnes Stores, Eyre Square on January 15, 2010, and at Shop Street on April 6, 2010. Inspector Ernie White told the court that on January 15, the defendant had been apprehended by gardai at Forster Street. Security staff from Dunnes Stores in Eyre Square contacted gardai on beat patrol, informing them that the defendant had run out of the store with clothing valued at €37.

On December 27, 2009, at 1.30pm the defendant entered Debenhams in Eyre Street and stole €248 worth of aftershave. Goldan entered Debenhams again on April 6, 2010, at 5.15pm and stole two bottles of perfume valued at €180. The inspector said that Goldan put the perfume bottles in a bag and walked out of the store without paying for the goods. Security staff gave a description of the thief to gardai and a half an hour later gardai apprehended Goldan in Shop Street; however the goods had already been sold off for €40. The court also heard how Goldan had one previous conviction for theft for which he received the Probation Act.

Defence solicitor Adrian MacLynn said that his client, who is originally from Moldova, is in the country as an asylum seeker. He said that the thefts happened because Goldan was experiencing severe financial difficulties and was struggling to provide for his wife and child.

Through an interpreter the defendant told Judge Fahy that he was “very sorry” for committing the thefts and that “it will never happen again”. “I did everything for my family,” he said.

“He is the author of his own misfortune,” said Judge Fahy, who then convicted Goldan and imposed a total of four months in jail. Leave to appeal was granted. Condition of bail pending appeal was that Goldan stays away from Galway city centre except for legal reasons.

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