Thief 'feared he'd be shot' if he did not steal groceries
A man who walked out of a shop with a trolley full of groceries worth more than €500 feared he would be shot if he did not take the items, a court has heard.
Kenneth Carroll (28) had been threatened and put under pressure by a number of people to steal the goods.
Judge Dermot Dempsey imposed a three-month sentence, which he suspended for 12 months.
The defendant, of North Strand, Drogheda, Co Louth, admitted stealing groceries worth €508 from Tesco in Millfield Shopping Centre, Balbriggan, last April 23.
Gda Cliona Mulligan told Swords District Court that Carroll filled up a trolley with groceries and walked out of the supermarket without paying for them.
Gda Mulligan said Carroll was stopped by security staff and the property was recovered in a saleable condition.
The incident was also caught on CCTV cameras.
Carroll co-operated with gardai and was taken to Balbriggan Garda Station, where he was later charged, Gda Mulligan said.
The court heard Carroll had eight previous convictions, mostly for road traffic matters, but he did have a previous conviction for theft.
Defence solicitor Fiona D'Arcy said Carroll had a speech impediment from a brain injury he acquired through boxing.
In relation to the Tesco incident, Ms D'Arcy said Carroll was put under pressure to take the groceries.
She said he felt intimidated on the day, had been threatened by an individual and feared he would be shot if he did not do what he was told.
He had panicked, Ms D'Arcy added, and foolishly took the items as he did not think he had any option.
Carroll was homeless and living in at hostel at present, the court heard.
Ms D'Arcy said he wished to apologise, and she asked Judge Dempsey not to send him to prison.
After Judge Dempsey imposed a three-month suspended sentence, Carroll promised that he would not be before the courts again.