Man stole restaurant worker's phone as he spoke to friends
A RESTAURANT worker had his mobile phone snatched by a customer when he went to talk to his friends during a coffee break, a court heard.
William Carroll (39) was battling a heroin addiction at the time and was "in a downward spiral", his lawyer said.
Blanchardstown District Court heard Carroll has battled an addiction to heroin for two decades, ever since his mother died when he was 18.
Judge David McHugh imposed an eight-month sentence but suspended it for two years.
The defendant, of Judge Darley's Hostel, Dublin 8, admitted stealing an HTC mobile phone worth €500 at McDonald's in Blanchardstown on January 31 last year.
Gda Padraic Brennan said a McDonalds staff member was on a coffee break when he got up to talk to some friends, leaving his mobile phone on a table.
Gda Brennan said Carroll took the phone and walked out of the restaurant.
The incident was caught on CCTV cameras.
The court heard the defendant has 23 previous convictions.
Defence lawyer Ciaran Mac- Loughlin said Carroll has two children and his partner is pregnant with their third.
He said Carroll started using heroin after the death of his mother when he was a teenager.
He is now stabilised on methadone, has not been in trouble since and is focused on staying drug-free.
Mr MacLoughlin also said that Carroll was "in a dark place" and "in a downward spiral" at the time of this offence.