AN APPRENTICE carpenter caught stealing five pairs of jeans has claimed he turned to shoplifting as he was in dire financial straits.
Darren Berigan (30) had a large magnet to remove security tags from clothes and a foil-lined bag.
He claimed that he was offered the bag and told how to use it but was caught on his first attempt.
A judge sentenced him to five months in prison but suspended it for a year.
The defendant, of Sherriff Street, Dublin 1, admitted before Dun Laoghaire District Court to stealing five pairs of jeans, worth €230, from H&M, Dundrum Shopping Centre on March 12.
He also admitted to having a foil-lined bag as well as a magnet to remove security tags in the incident He was stopped outside the shop by security.
The court heard that Berigan has three young children and is in dire financial straits.