herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Thief trashed shop after he was locked in

A 'THUG' who trashed a shop after he was locked in by staff who caught him stealing has been jailed for five months.

Jonathan Kavanagh (24) smashed the cash register after the panic alarm was operated and he could not get out.

Blanchardstown District Court heard he was on a mixture of alcohol and tablets at the time of the incident.

Judge David McHugh said what happened had been "out-right thuggery" and Kavanagh deserved a prison sentence.

The accused, with an address at Oranmore Close, Ballyfermot, pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage to a cash register and stealing a packet of cigarettes at Spar, Woodford Shopping Centre.

Blanchardstown District Court heard gardai responded to a panic alarm that was activated at 12.25pm on February 16 last. It was reported that two men were in the premises, "smashing up the shop".

The accused was locked inside the shop and was apprehended and arrested by gardai when staff opened the door.

He had stolen cigarettes from behind the counter and damaged the cash register.

The court heard Kavanagh had a large number of previous convictions for offences including criminal damage and theft.

outrageous

The accused had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and "apologised without any difficulty for his outrageous and thuggish behaviour," his solicitor Matthew Kenny said.

He had been under the influence of tablets and alcohol at the time of the incident and this was "very clear" from CCTV footage.

He was not using this as an excuse but wanted the court to note the fact that he had dealt with his addiction problems and was no longer taking drugs or alcohol.

He was playing football for a local team and a reference from its manager was handed in to court.

Kavanagh was trying to put behind him his "violent and abrupt period of offending".

He was also prepared to pay compensation for the damage he caused on the day and asked for time to do this.

"Thuggish is the word I had in mind," Judge McHugh said. "Absolute outright thuggery is what this about, nothing more nothing less. A custodial sentence is very much deserved."

He added that he considered the accused to have "done well" in the circumstances.

Bail terms were set in the event of an appeal.

hnews@herald.ie

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