Friday 9 December 2016

Son of TD spared criminal conviction after pleading guilty to stealing €10 box of beer

Tom Tuite

Published 30/05/2016 | 16:08

Aengus Ó Snodaigh
Aengus Ó Snodaigh

A SON of Sinn Fein TD Aengus O Snodaigh has been spared a criminal conviction and a possible sentence for stealing a box of “Desparado” beer.

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Lorcan O Snodaigh (18) pleaded guilty to the theft the beer worth €10 at Supervalu on Talbot Street in Dublin 1 on April 12 last year. However, he was let off after making a €50 court poor box payment.

The youth's case was heard at the Dublin Children's Court because he was aged 17 and still a minor at the time of the shoplifting incident. However, he has since turned 18 and reached adulthood by the time the summons was issued.

Defence counsel Damian McKeone told Judge John O'Connor that the youth who is from the Naas Road, Bluebell, Dublin 12, was pleading guilty to the charge.

The teen was accompanied to the proceedings by his father Aengus O Snodaigh, Sinn Fein TD for Dublin South-Central constituency and party spokesperson on Social Protection and Communities.

Lorcan O Snodaigh spoke to confirm he did not want the case to be dealt with before a jury in the circuit court which has tougher sentencing powers. He said, “Keep it in this court” when given the choice.

Judge O'Connor accepted jurisdiction.

Garda David Leahy told the court that he had responded to a call that a security guard had detained a male in the shop. He also viewed CCTV footage which showed the youth “took a box of Desparado beer and passed all points without payment”.

The beer was recovered in saleable condition the youth was co-operative, the garda said.

The court heard he had eight prior criminal convictions which included entering with intent to commit an offence, criminal damage, and six for thefts which led to him being bound to the peace.

Mr McKeone defending asked the court to note that the offence went back to last year and his client has since turned 18. He had been going to college but dropped out and hopes to resume a computers course in September.

Pleading with the court to spare him a conviction, Mr McKeone said the youth was drunk at the time of the incident, accepted it was a foolish thing to do and was remorseful. Counsel said the young man, who is getting a disability payment, had €50 to offer to charity.

The judge said he was sure the young man has “turned it around” and he accepted the offer which he said would go to St Vincent de Paul charity. Once the money was handed over the judge marked the facts proven but the case was struck out.

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