Shoplifter gets lucky with community service

Goodlucky by name, Goodlucky by nature. An asylum seeker shoplifter stayed true to his name when he was given the opportunity of completing 120 hours of community service instead of four months in jail.

Twenty-eight-year-old Goodlucky Chesangoma with an address at Lisbrook House, Headford Road, appeared at Galway District Court last week and pleaded guilty to stealing perfume/aftershave valued at €92.50 from Debenhams, Eyre Street, and handling stolen property, namely clothing valued at €154, at Galway Garda Station, on May 24, 2008. He also pleaded guilty to stealing a magazine and alcohol valued at €19.46 from Dunnes Store, Terryland, on June 12, 2008, and to stealing a box of Carlsberg from Tesco Shopping Centre, on June 22, 2008.

Inspector Mick Coppinger told Judge Mary Fahy that the defendant had entered Debenhams, taken the tags off the perfume and was observed by security staff leaving the store without paying When he was brought to Galway Garda Station he was searched and a bag of clothing belonging to New Look was found. All the property was recovered.

The defendant’s solicitor Sean O’Cearbhaill said that all the offences happened within the space of nine months. He said that his client had come to Ireland in January from Tanzania because he had suffered “harassment” due to his sexual orientation. Mr O’Cearbhaill added that the defendant had been finding it difficult to settle and is currently seeking asylum here.

Mr O’Cearbhaill said his client did co-operate with gardai, and did not become aggressive or violent when apprehended. The court heard that he had no previous convictions and he hasn’t been involved in any illegal activity since.

Judge Fahy remanded the defendant on continuing bail to December 1 for the preparation of a community service report to assess his suitability to do 120 hours or four months in jail.

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