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Theft of jam, eggs and cash was like a ‘caper comedy’ comments judge

March 5th, 2021 5:50 PM

By Southern Star Team

‘If this was a film it could be a caper comedy but at the same time, he’s still taking stuff from people,’ said Judge Roberts. (Photo: Collins Courts)

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A DISTRICT court judge has said the theft of jam, eggs and cash from an honesty box by two men in a stolen van last year had the hallmarks of a ‘caper comedy’ if it was a film.

Judge Colm Roberts made the comment when dealing with the two culprits at Clonakilty District Court last week.

Daniel Culhane of 5 Beach apartments, Owenahincha had previously pleaded guilty to the unlawful taking of a vehicle, no insurance, no driving licence, drink driving and two charges of theft.

The case had been adjourned for the defendant to pay the first instalment of compensation of €1,000 as well as the production of a probation report.

However, his solicitor Ray Hennessy said his client, who was 31 on the day, had been in custody since last November and had received a three-year prison sentence the day before at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

Mr Hennessy added his client also received a 20-year driving ban for offences committed in December and had no compensation in court.

The court heard that Mr Culhane has 53 previous convictions that include several for drink driving and no insurance.

Judge Roberts sentenced the defendant to six months in prison on the no insurance, drink driving, the unlawful taking of a vehicle and one month for the theft of jams, eggs, cash and diesel.

Mr Culhane was also disqualified from driving for six years.

Mr Culhane’s mother addressed the court and said her son was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 16 where he was given Ritalin which, she claimed, has the same ingredient as cocaine or speed.

Mr Hennessy said she is attributing her son’s problems to the drug and wanted to make sure other mums don’t go through the same.

At the same court sitting, Alan Roche (36), with an address at 49 Island Way, Muskerry Estate, Ballincollig pleaded guilty to the theft of the eggs, jam and money box during the same incident on June 9th last and to allowing himself be in a stolen vehicle.

Insp Debra Marsh told the court that Mr Roche was in the silver Ford Transit van stolen from Hayes’s caravan park, along with Daniel Culhane.

‘When they approached Mary Sexton’s house near Timoleague the defendant climbed out and took the items, including the cash. They drove back to Owenahincha and Mr Roche got out of the van,’ said Insp Marsh.

The court heard Roche had 31 previous convictions with his last conviction dating to 2013.

Solicitor Conrad Murphy said his client, who had €115 in compensation in court, was ‘off his face’ and doesn’t remember much of what happened.

‘Since the incident he has been to Cuan Mhuire and is clean,’ said Mr Murphy.

‘If this was a film it could be a caper comedy but at the same time, he’s still taking stuff from people,’ said Judge Roberts.

Judge Roberts convicted and fined him €400 on the theft charge and put him on a probation bond for 12 months on the other charge.

Mr Roche apologised for his actions and said that following treatment, he is getting his life back in order.

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