A 29 year-old Carrick-on-Suir man has received a four months jail sentence for possessing more than €3,000 worth of stolen property including a lawnmover, chainsaws, drills and a diesel generator that gardai found during a search of a Faugheen premises.
Judge Brian O'Shea imposed the sentence on recovering heroin addict Anthony McNamara of 48 Mountain View, Carrick-on-Suir at Carrick-on-Suir District Court where the defendant pleaded guilty to possessing the stolen goods at Poulmaleen, Faugheen on May 23.
The judge said this was a type of crime "plaguing all rural communities" and feeding the entire process was that people were recklessly willing to buy stolen property.
Gda. Sgt. Ian Barrett told the court that Det. Gda. Pat O'Gorman found the large quantity of stolen property while executing a search warrant on a property at this address.
McNamara was subsequently arrested and informed gardai he purchased the items from another person. He accepted he was reckless in relation to the origin of the equipment.
Sgt. Barrett said McNamara had 41 previous convictions that included convictions for theft, burglary, possessing and handling stolen property. He also had convictions for drug possession and possessing drugs for sale or supply to others, criminal damage, carrying out an illegal house collection and breaching the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act.
Defence solicitor Eamonn Hayes said all the stolen property found at McNamara's place of residence at that time was returned to its original owners and his client was "as helpful as he could be during the interview process".
He confirmed to Judge O'Shea that McNamara purchased the goods for the purpose of sell them on at a profit.
The solicitor outlined that McNamara wasn't currently working and was participating in a methadone programme. He was also attending a drug addiction counsellor in Carrick-on-Suir and subject to random urine tests, which so far showed negative for drugs.
He was also involved in the "Making Connections" programme providing early school leavers with life and work skills. He had also completed a community service order imposed by a court earlier this year.
Imposing sentence, Judge O'Shea said he considered the offence to be in the middle range of offences coming before the courts in Tipperary. The number of stolen items found in McNamara's possession was an aggravating factor.
"They were bought effectively as a job lot in circumstances where he was reckless as to whether they were stolen or not and in circumstances where they were to be sold on for a more substantial sum of money."
"This is a type of crime that is plaguing all rural communities," he declared. "Items are stolen and sold on, possessed and handled by people and underlining this is the fact that people are willing to buy these items reckless as to whether they are stolen, which feeds the entire process of stealing items."
Judge O'Shea said he was impressed McNamara entered a plea of guilty at an early stage and with his co-operation with gardai but he regarded it as a significant difficulty that the defendant committed this crime while he was doing community service under the supervision of the Probation Service.
He had been given every chance by the court but went out and committed this crime.
"It seems to be in the circumstances that a further engagement with the Probation Service is not appropriate in this case. The appropriate sentence is four months imprisonment," the Judge concluded.
He refused Mr Hayes' request to suspend the sentence and fixed recognisance in the event of an appeal being lodged.