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Friday 6 December 2019

One-legged thief told gardai he was 'working on house'

Eddie Valentine was jailed
Eddie Valentine was jailed

A one-legged thief was arrested after he was caught in a homeowner's garden carrying a ladder and a crowbar, a court heard.

The resident raised the alarm after he looked out his window and saw Eddie Valentine (44), who has a prosthetic leg, outside his house in suspicious circumstances without permission.

Valentine claimed he was "doing work on a house" when gardai arrested him and questioned him. He was jailed for 19 months for the incident, as well as a series of unrelated shoplifting charges.

Valentine, from Carrickmount Drive, Rathfarnham, was charged with trespassing at the house at Glendoher Road, Rathfarnham on December 28, 2017.

Dublin District Court heard the homeowner looked out his window at 11.10pm to see the accused in his front garden carrying a ladder. The ladder had been taken from the house and the accused was also carrying a crowbar. He was wearing gloves and had a torch in his pocket and snips in a bag.

Shoplifting

When he was arrested and questioned, he said he was "doing work on a house".

Separately, he admitted a series of shoplifting charges. He stole €110 worth of alcohol from Supervalu in Rathgar on one occasion, €170 worth of drink on another, and €129 worth on a third. None of the property was recovered.

In another theft at the same store, he went in with a foil-lined bag and took two bottles of gin, two bottles of brandy and two bottles of vodka, with a total value of €180. The bag was seized and the property was recovered on that occasion.

Valentine also stole ¤150 sunglasses from an optician in Nutgrove shopping centre.

He had 84 prior convictions for offences including theft.

Valentine was already serving another two-year sentence when he appeared in court.

The accused had been living a "chaotic life" at the time of the offence, his solicitor Matthew DeCourcy said. He had chronic alcohol dependency, he added, and told the court Valentine was "doing very well" in prison.

"These are not victimless crimes," Judge Murphy said. "They are very distressing for homeowners."

She imposed consecutive 10-month and nine month sentences.

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