herald

Monday 18 February 2019

Man appears in court for stealing 40c chocolate bar

Alan Bathe was caught returning to the scene of the crime
Alan Bathe was caught returning to the scene of the crime

A sweet-toothed shoplifter was prosecuted for stealing a chocolate bar worth only 40c in one the lowest value theft cases to ever come before the courts.

Alan Bathe (34) got away with snatching the Animal bar, but was caught when he returned to the same shop later and was recognised by staff.

Judge John Lindsay put him on a bond to keep the peace for a year after he admitted the charge.

Bathe, of Seaview Park, Port-rane, Co Dublin, pleaded guilty to theft.

Dublin District Court heard the incident happened in Super- Valu on Ballymun Road, Ballymun, last April 12.

Unsurprisingly for such a low-value theft, the DPP allowed the district court to deal with the matter rather than sending it for a jury trial at the circuit court, subject to the judge considering the matter.

After hearing the value of the goods taken, the judge joked: "I don't think I can accept jurisdiction."

The thief also agreed the court was his preferred choice.

A garda sergeant gave evidence that Bathe entered the shop at around 12.30pm on the day in question, selected an Animal bar worth 40c and left without paying.

He later returned to the same shop and was recognised by security staff, who called gardai. He was arrested and prosecuted for theft. The chocolate bar was never recovered.

Trouble

The court heard the accused had 67 previous convictions, the last of which was in 2015 for theft. He had not been in trouble since then.

Bathe had had a very serious drug problem, which he had now largely dealt with, his solicitor Rory Staines said.

Judge Lindsay put Bathe on a bond to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for 12 months.

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