Betting slip thief given suspended sentence after failing to pay compensation

A chancer who tried to scoop a €1,000 win with a stolen betting slip was given a seven month suspended sentence this week after failing to come up with compensation.

The Galway District Court heard on Monday how 36-year-old Michael Flannagan had been given a chance to pay compensation to the injured party, however he failed to do so as the money had been used to pay for his son’s communion or lost on gambling.

In November the court heard how Flannagan, who had been residing in a Simon Community Care accommodation in the city, pleaded guilty to making gain or causing loss by deception at Shop Street on December 29, 2008.

The evidence given was that on January 3, 2010, a man made a complaint at Galway Garda Station that he had placed a €500 bet on a horse at 4/1 odds and that when he went to collect his €1,000 win he was told that it had already been collected. The injured party was also unable to locate his ticket.

A Garda investigation revealed that the defendant had gone into a different betting shop belonging to the same chain and collected the winnings.

He told gardai that he had simply found the ticket. The case had been adjourned for €500 compensation to be paid to the injured party and for a further €500 to be paid at a later date.

However, this week defence solicitor Valerie Corcoran explained that her client had put aside €400 but lost some it on gambling and used the rest for his son’s communion.

Inspector Ernie White confirmed that none of the compensation has yet been paid.

He added that Flannagan has one previous conviction in March 2009 for possession of a knife.

Ms Corcoran said that her client, who has two children, has a serious alcohol problem and that he has been attending a psychologist.

Judge Fahy replied that the offence happened in 2008 and that Flannagan “should have made some provision... even if he had to pay part of it”.

She then convicted Flannagan and imposed a seven month sentence suspended for 12 months on condition that he enter into a bond of €500 to be of good behaviour and to not re-offend.

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