An ex-chef with an appetite bigger than his pocket and 200 previous convictions was given a eight month suspended sentence for failing to pay for meals in Galway city restaurants as well as failing to appear in court.
William Flynn (39 ) with an address at 13 Clonard Park, Ballybeg, Waterford, appeared before Judge Mary Fahy charged with two counts of making off without payment for services as well as being intoxicated in a public place and failure to appear in court.
Inspector Brendan Carroll told the court on July 31, 2013, the defendant entered Maxwell McNamara’s restaurant on Williamgate Street and ordered a meal worth €50.90, however he made off without paying. When the gardai found him he was “extremely intoxicated”. It was also discovered that on the previous day, July 30, the defendant had entered Chezure restaurant on Dock Road and enjoyed a meal worth €92 which he also did not pay for.
Flynn’s solicitor John Martyn told the court his client left home soon after his Leaving Cert, trained as a chef in Dublin but “alcohol became a part of his life” and he became homeless, living in a hostel in Waterford. Flynn was alcohol dependent for 20 years during which time he had no contact with his family. However, Mr Martyn confirmed that his client has been off alcohol for two months and is trying to get his life back together. He added that Flynn broke his back last year and is currently on strong medication.
The court then heard how Flynn has 200 previous convictions, from inside and outside the jurisdiction, for similar offences of theft and public order.
Standing with the use of crutches, Flynn told Judge Fahy that he had been in a wheelchair for five months from September and that since being in hospital he has put €20 into the credit union each week.
However, Judge Fahy noted there was not much point in waiting for compensation and that Flynn has no connection to Galway. Flynn was then convicted and sentenced to a total of eight months in jail suspended for two years on condition that he enter into a bond of €300 to be of good behaviour and stay away from Galway city and county. For being intoxicated in a public place Flynn was fined €200 with five months to pay.