A 33-YEAR-old man with 187 previous convictions has been jailed for four-and-a-half months after stealing two packets of Clonakilty sausages and a bottle of vodka from a Skibbereen supermarket.
At Clonakilty District Court, Tony Coffey of no fixed abode, faced six charges in total: three breaches of Covid-19 travel restrictions, two drunk in public charges, and one theft charge.
Two breaches of the Covid-19 travel restrictions were withdrawn by the State following his plea to one, while one public order charge was withdrawn following his plea to the other two charges.
Sgt Kelly told the court that on March 29th last at 10.24pm a garda on patrol in Skibbereen was told of a drunk male who was heading to Market Street in the town.
‘The defendant was extremely drunk and he had no ID or a mobile phone on him and they arrested him for his own safety,’ said Sgt Kelly.
However, three days later, gardaí received a report from the manager of Spar Drinagh in Skibbereen about the alleged theft of a number of items from the shop.
‘Gardaí then met with the defendant who was drunk and had half a bottle of Powers whisky, a bottle of Jameson whisky, a bottle of Smirnoff vodka and two packets of Clonakilty sausages on him,’ said Sgt Kelly.
‘The manager told gardaí that he saw the defendant entering the shop and leaving without paying for the vodka or the sausages.’
The court heard that Mr Coffey has 187 previous convictions, including 37 for theft and 73 for being drunk in a public place and has been in custody since April 2nd.
Solicitor Conrad Murphy said his client also spent a period in isolation in order to comply with Covid guidelines.
‘His father died earlier this year and he has significant problems with alcohol. He is of no fixed abode and the only reason my client was in Skibbereen was because his sister lives there,’ said Mr Murphy.
‘Two bottles of whisky and a bottle of vodka – and at least you were thinking of the sausages,’ said Judge Roberts. ‘Until he deals with drink, he will continue to re-offend and custody is about containment at this stage.’
Judge Roberts sentenced him to four-and-a-half months in prison on the theft charge, and backdated it from April 2nd. He took into consideration the public order charge.
Mr Coffey was also sentenced to two weeks in prison for two breaches of the Health Act.
‘I hope you will use your time in prison to deal with your issues,’ said the judge.