A MEDIA student who stole a garda's hat in an act of "misplaced loyalty" to a friend who was being arrested at the time has avoided conviction after paying compensation.
Cillian Hawkes (20) snatched the cap and ran before discarding it in a shop doorway in the incident in Dublin city centre.
Judge David McHugh gave him the benefit of the Probation Act at Blanchardstown District Court after he paid a total of €250, including compensation and a charity donation.
He was also left without a conviction for separate public order offences.
The defendant had pleaded guilty to theft and accepted it was an act of "incredible immaturity".
Hawkes, with an address at Beech Park, Lucan, admitted stealing Gda Darren Kinsella's hat at Sycamore Street, Dublin 2 on June 22 last.
He also pleaded guilty to separate charges of public intoxication, causing a breach of the peace and refusing to pay a taxi fare at Harelawn Green, Lucan on August 12.