New dad who stole jacket was homeless at the time
A new father who stole a jacket from a supermarket was homeless and finding it difficult to survive, a court heard.
Gerry Wall (22) is now living in emergency accommodation in a Dublin hotel and his "circumstances have greatly improved", said his lawyer.
Judge Patricia McNamara ordered a probation report and adjourned sentencing to a date in November.
Wall admitted before Tallaght District Court to a charge of theft at Tesco, The Square Shopping Centre, Tallaght.
Sgt Michael Ahern said Wall entered the supermarket at around 1.30pm last January 30 and picked up a jacket worth €19.50.
Sgt Ahern said Wall tried to walk out of the supermarket without paying for the item, but was stopped by security staff and the jacket was recovered in a saleable condition.
The court heard the defendant, with a most recent address at The Laurels, Bluebell Avenue, Dublin 12, has 10 previous convictions, mostly for theft.
His last conviction was also for a theft-related matter, which happened three days before this theft.
Defence lawyer George Burns said Wall was homeless at the time of the incident.
He said the defendant is now living in emergency accommodation in the Regency Hotel and his "circumstances have greatly improved". He also said Wall has not been in trouble with gardai since the two thefts in January.
Mr Burns further told the court that Wall became a father four weeks ago, and he is focused on caring for the new baby.
Ordering a probation report, Judge McNamara said Wall went on a shoplifting "spree in January".
This was refuted by Mr Burns, who said Wall committed two thefts in the space of three days, at a time when he was homeless and trying to survive in difficult circumstances.
The judge further warned Wall that he faces going to prison if he comes to the adverse attention of gardai in the next two months.