herald

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Man leading 'chaotic' life jailed for trying to help shoplifter flee

The judge threw out McDonagh’s claim which meant the six other claims collapsed with it and were dismissed
The judge threw out McDonagh’s claim which meant the six other claims collapsed with it and were dismissed

A young man who tried to help a suspected shoplifter escape from a supermarket was living a "chaotic" life at the time.

Glen Melia (21) struggled with security staff before he was subdued and arrested at the scene by gardai.

His lawyer told a court that Melia had been living between several hotels at the time of these offences and was leading a "chaotic" life.

Judge Miriam Walsh sentenced him to 10 months in prison and refused to suspend any part of the sentence.

The defendant, of Shancastle Drive, Clondalkin, had admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to using threatening and abusive behaviour.

The incident happened at Tesco in Ballyfermot on April 8 last year.

The court heard that Melia tried to aid the escape of a suspected shoplifter.

A garda witness told the court that there was a confrontation with security staff and Melia struggled with them before officers arrived and he was arrested.

In a separate incident, Melia also admitted to driving without insurance or a licence at Watson Park, Cabinteely, in March 2015.

Turmoil

The court heard that the defendant had 16 previous convictions, including three for uninsured driving.

Melia's defence solicitor said his lifestyle had been in some turmoil but he was now back home living with his parents, and was more "settled".

The solicitor said that Melia, who was unemployed and on social welfare, suffered from ADHD and had not completed his Junior Certificate or Leaving Certificate.

He was now looking after his mother, who has a number of ailments, and he had been of "great assistance" to her, the court heard.

The solicitor said that Melia had been attending the Candle Project in Clondalkin and had been trying to re-engage with the support services available to him.

He also wished to apologise to the court for his behaviour, the lawyer said.

Judge Walsh was asked to give Melia a chance and consider imposing a suspended sentence.

However, Judge Walsh imposed a 10-month sentence and refused to suspend any part of it.

He also fined Melia €400 and disqualified him from driving for 15 years on the no-insurance charge.

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