Aspiring actor avoids prison sentence
AN ASPIRING actor who handled stolen property that was taken from a van in a retail park has avoided a prison sentence.
Derek Hyland (34) has been ordered to complete 220 hours' community service in lieu of a four-month prison sentence after he was deemed suitable for the work by the Probation Services.
Hyland, of Pinewoods in Clondalkin, pleaded guilty at Blanchardstown District Court to handling a stolen laptop case at Fonthill Retail Park in Clondalkin on September 11 last year.
Evidence was given that gardai received a call at around 6.50pm saying that a number of males were acting in a suspicious manner in the retail park.
A man then interrupted a number of men at the van. The witness managed to take photographs of the suspects and handed the photos over to gardai.
Hyland, who has 28 previous convictions, was identified as being in possession of a laptop case from the van.
"He co-operated and held his hands up," Hyland's solicitor said, explaining that Hyland had a serious addiction to heroin but is now on methadone.
"He has made significant strides in his life and has taken acting courses and has starred in the lead role in a short film," the solicitor said.
Judge David McHugh ordered Hyland to complete the community service work instead of prison.