Penniless man steals whiskey to keep warm, court hears

A penniless man, with 56 previous convictions, took a particular liking to a brand of whiskey during a month-long shoplifting spree and used the fire water to warm himself up at night, the Galway District Court heard this week.

Stephen Corrigan (32 ) with an address at 8 McDermott Avenue, Mervue, pleaded guilty last Monday to the theft of a bottle of Kinsey Scotch whisky, value €13.43, at Dunnes Stores, Westside Shopping Centre, on February 12, 15, 16, and 21, and two bottles of the same brand on March 1.

Inspector Ernie White told the court that on March 1 at 5pm the defendant entered Dunnes Stores and attempted to steal two bottles of Kinsey Scotch by putting them down his pants. When he was arrested he then admitted to stealing whisky on four other dates.

Defence solicitor Ronan Murphy said that the defendant had been doing access courses with GMIT and NUIG but due to financial difficulties could not continue. Mr Murphy added that “every penny” had been spent on rent and that Corrigan had no money to pay for utilities such as heating and was getting his meals from the Simon Community.

“He had used the whiskey for warming himself up at night,” said Mr Murphy who added that Corrigan has since secured employment and is trying to get his life back on track.

“He must have a particular liking to that brand of whiskey,” quipped Judge Mary Fahy.

Inspector White then said that Corrigan has 56 previous convictions, 21 of which were for theft and the remainder for assault and public order.

Mr Murphy said that Corrigan was not in a position to provide compensation but was willing to do community service.

Judge Fahy remanded Corrigan on continuing bail to September 15 to allow for the preparation of a community service report. If found suitable Corrigan is ordered to complete 120 hours in lieu of five months in jail.


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