A judge condemned an illegal charity collection operated by a Galway man in Carrick-on-Suir as a "particularly nasty, insidious offence" when he appeared before him at Carrick-on-Suir District Court.
Judge John King said charities were already getting hammered and this type of offence affected the contributions towards charities in general as people approached on the street for donations wondered whether the collectors were genuine.
He was speaking after hearing the evidence in the case against Brian Ward, aged 23, from 28 Parkmore, Tuam, who pleaded guilty at the court to operating an illegal collection outside Lidl in Carrick-on-Suir on June 3, 2015.
Gda. Sgt. Ian Barrett gave evidence that Gda. Paul Cronin was called out to a collection outside the supermarket where he met the defendant and another person, who both admitted it was an illegal collection.
"They inserted names on a card to fool people into thinking they had got money but they hadn't got money," the sergeant explained.
Ward had five previous convictions. They included a conviction imposed at Cork District Court for operating a collection without a permit, a conviction at Tuam District Court for promoting an unlawful lottery and convictions for burglary and criminal damage.
Defence solicitor Michael Quirk said his client was married with two children and dependent on a social welfare payment.
He pointed out that there was loss to other people in this case and requested the court to consider an alternative penalty to a custodial sentence.
Judge John King responded that this was the third time Ward committed this type of offence and noted he committed this offence six months after his last conviction for holding a collection without a permit.
The Judge adjourned the case to Carrick-on-Suir District Court sitting of December 7 for the production of a Probation Officer's report examining Ward's suitability to do community service
. "You had better not come to adverse attention (of the gardai) in the meantime," he warned.