Jail time for pilfering from vacant homes

A man who stole more than €4,000 worth of goods in just over a year has been given an 11 month jail sentence at Mullingar District Court.

Shane Farrell of Togher, Castletown, Finnea pleaded guilty to 13 offences which were committed between January 1 2009 and March 25 2010.

Garda Ian Bradley said the thefts related to unoccupied houses where he stole items, particularly copper cylinders which he sold on for cash. The items were worth €4,300.

The garda said the 24-year-old was, and still is, a heroin addict but that he had cooperated fully and admitted his offences.

He pointed out that Farrell has been a heroin addict for four or five years and that this was the reason behind what he called a “crime spree”.

He said the accused’s mother was a great help to him dealing with his addiction and that his family, who are not known to gardaí and are decent people, had done their best to assist him.

Ms Patricia Cronin described the conviction before the court as the end of a long road for Farrell who now accepts the seriousness of his offences.

He was recently given an 11 month prison sentence and now that he is a sentenced prisoner for the first time, he accepts the very serious consequences of what he has done and is anxious to clean up his life.

He also accepts that he had been given a number of chances and wasted them. If he could turn the clock back, he wouldn’t miss probation appointments and he had done so “before he knew what jail was like”.

He is now attending an addiction counsellor in the Midlands Prison and she asked the judge not to make his position more difficult.

Judge William Early imposed two concurrent 11 month sentences which he backdated to May 27 and took all other charges into consideration.

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