Saturday 14 December 2019

Thief stole power washer to feed his 'benzo' addiction

Calvin Fitzsimons has been attending counselling. Photo: INM
Calvin Fitzsimons has been attending counselling. Photo: INM

A young man who stole a power washer ran out of a shop chased by staff before jumping into a car and fleeing the scene.

Calvin Fitzsimons (21) was battling an addiction to benzodiazepine tablets and was stealing to feed his habit.

Judge Paula Murphy ordered a probation report and adjourned sentencing to a date next month.

The defendant, of Leinster House, North Strand, Dublin 3, admitted theft from Woodies in Swords last April 5 when he appeared before Swords District Court yesterday.

Gda Kevin Barry said Fitz- simons picked up a power washer, which was on sale for €200, and stood at the door.

Gda Barry said the defendant waited until the door opened and then ran out of the store without paying.

The officer said Fitzsimons was followed by shop staff but he jumped into a car and fled the scene.

The power washer was not recovered, Gda Barry added.


The court heard that Fitzsimons had 45 previous convictions, including some for theft-related offences.

Defence lawyer Deirdre Flannery said he was heavily addicted to benzodiazepine tablets at the time and was stealing to fund his habit.

She said her client had "little memory of this offence".

Ms Flannery told the court that Fitzsimons left school at the age of 14 and his life "descended into chaos" after he started hanging around with the wrong crowd.

The defendant's father died six years ago, Ms Flannery said.

Fitzsimons did not deal properly with his loss, he began abusing tablets and he was living in and out of the family home.

However, he began to attend counselling three months ago and was now dealing with his grief and mental health issues.

Ms Flannery said the defendant was providing clean urines, was "back on his feet" and had "cleaned up his act".

He was working as a carpenter, back living with his mother and had a young son.

Fitzsimons also wished to offer compensation, the lawyer said.

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