Ripped stolen clothes were 'defective', said teenager
A teenager who was stopped with a bag of stolen clothes with the security tags removed claimed the items were "defective".
David Rostas (19) maintained he had bought the clothes from H&M and had not seen the holes where the tags had been.
Judge Michael Walsh put Rostas on a bond to keep the peace for 18 months for possession of stolen property.
The accused, of Ashfield Rise, Balbriggan, had denied the charge.
Dublin District Court heard the incident happened in Price's Lane in the south city centre on April 9 last year.
Gda Cathal Feely said he saw three men acting suspiciously on Fleet Street and kept them under observation.
He followed them to Price's Lane where he saw Rostas with a paper H&M shopping bag in his hand.
Inside the bag were two pairs of jeans and a shirt, which Rostas said were his.
He told Gda Feely he had bought them at the H&M store in Blanchardstown.
When asked a second time, he said he bought them three days prior at H&M in the city centre.
Rostas did not respond when asked if the clothes had been stolen.
Donal Quigley, defending, said the accused was under no obligation to explain where the clothes came from.
The court heard that Gda Feely went to H&M in College Green where staff identified the clothes as being the shop's property.
There was a tear at the rear of one of the pairs of jeans and staff said that was where the security tag had been, said the garda.
In evidence, the accused said he did not notice the dam- age when he bought the clothing.
"I just looked at the size," he said. "I didn't see if there was a hole."
Mr Quigley said: "It's not the highest quality of labels. I have got shoddy goods there over the years myself."
A garda sergeant said he would not call the damage to the jeans "a defect", as Rostas had claimed. "It's a hole," he said.
The judge found Rostas had been "reckless at the very least" as to whether the clothes were stolen.
The court heard a juvenile was also stopped by the garda in the accused's company.
Finding Rostas guilty, Judge Walsh put him on a bond to keep the peace and be of good behaviour.