Beer and vodka thief claims 'I can't count'
A man who stole cans of beer and a bottle of vodka from a Swords supermarket claimed he did so because he could not count how many beers he had in his bag.
Jonathan Fitzpatrick (32) paid for 10 cans of beer, but stole a bottle of vodka and two cans of beer from Lidl supermarket on the Rathbeale Road in Swords on July 22.
He was sentenced to two months in prison at Balbriggan District Court, which was suspended for one year.
He was also warned to be of sober habits and not to re-offend during the suspension period.
Fitzpatrick, of St Cronan's Way in Swords, told Balbriggan District Court: "I can't count so I didn't know how many cans I had in my bag."
Judge Patricia McNamara asked him: "Can you can tell the difference between a bottle of vodka and a can of beer?" Fitzpatrick replied: "Yeah."
Fitzpatrick also pleaded guilty to driving without insurance, having no road tax, no NCT and failing to produce his driving licence in Balbriggan on October 19 last year.
Inspector Neil Curran gave evidence that Fitzpatrick entered the supermarket and took 12 cans of beer and a bottle of vodka.
"He only paid for 10 cans of beer and left without paying for two cans and the vodka," said Inspector Curran.
The total value of the alcohol Fitzpatrick stole came to €16.49.
Defence solicitor Fiona D'Arcy said Fitzpatrick, who has eight previous convictions, has "a difficulty going on the dry from alcohol".
"Unfortunately he has an alcohol problem and he is holding his hands up to the theft.
"He has had difficulties in the past and has learnt his lesson," she said.
However, Ms D'Arcy said Fitzpatrick is "not doing anything about his drinking".
Judge Patricia McNamara told him to "go to a counsellor and they will deal with that".
After she sentenced him to two months for the theft, which she suspended, she disqualified him from driving for two years and fined him €500 for driving without insurance.
She further fined him €300 for having no road tax, €250 for failing to produce his driving licence and €200 for having no NCT.