Man used false plates on car to steal diesel
A MAN who used a false number plate on his car while stealing diesel has avoided a prison sentence.
Judge Dermot Dempsey ordered Anthony O'Donnell (29) to complete 240 hours of community service in lieu of a three-month prison sentence after he was deemed suitable by the Probation Service.
Balbriggan District Court heard that a number of days after stealing the diesel he went back to the service station and paid for the fuel. A receipt was produced in court which gardai were satisfied with.
O'Donnell of Meakstown Close, St Margaret's Road in Finglas pleaded guilty to the theft of €40 of diesel from Applegreen Service Station at Baldrummond in Lusk on November 7 last.
He further pleaded guilty to being in possession of a false registration place on the same date.
The court heard that O'Donnell, who has 13 previous convictions, was driving a silver Ford Mondeo and after filling the car with the diesel, had no means to pay for the fuel and attempted to drive off.
Defence barrister Patrick Jackson said O'Donnell's twin brother died in tragic circumstances in 2012 and that the defendant hasn't found this easy to deal with.
Mr Jackson said O'Donnell is the "first member of his family to have achieved his Junior Certificate" and now works with the Traveller community, encouraging youngsters to attend school.
He said his client was willing to do community service work.
Sergeant Tony Tighe informed Judge Dempsey that the defendant had used black tape to alter the registration number on the car, but that on viewing CCTV footage, gardai were able to work out the correct registration number and traced the car back to the defendant.
As well as community service, Judge Dempsey also convicted and fined the defendant €100 for driving off without paying for the fuel.