Man stole beer three times from same store
A YOUNG man who stole from the same Dundalk store three times as well as setting off a fire extinguisher in it has pleaded guilty to theft and criminal damage charges at the district court.
Michael Murden, (20), 529 Ashling Park, admitted a series of offences which happened at the Maxol, Castletown Road on dates in April, June and July.
Judge William Hamill was told how on April 23, he took beer worth €13 from the shop but Gardai were close-by and chased him. Murden dropped some of the alcohol but managed to get away from the Gardai.
On June 29, Murden stole 12 cans of Bavarian beer from the store worth €17 and was identified on CCTV but the drink was not recovered. He also stole €48 worth of drink from the Londis, Castletown Road, on the same day while he was with two others.
In addition, on July 13, he twice targeted the Maxol, taking beer worth €53 while he was in the company of another person on one occasion and €16 worth of beer on another.
The judge also heard how Gardai were called to the Maxol shop at around 10.40pm on the same night after reports of a disturbance.
Murden had set off a fire extinguisher in the shop and products, worth €680 had been destroyed. Around €350 was spent on labour to clean up after the incident and the air conditioning filters had to be removed and cleaned.
Murden, who has a number of previous convictions including for criminal damage, burglary, assault and drug possession, presented himself to Dundalk garda station for interview about the offences.
Solicitor Peter Lavery said Murden has a problem with drinking and 'understands the path he is on is the wrong one'. Mr Lavery said the defendant is getting counselling while in custody and 'understands that a sentence is very likely', but he hasn't done community service before and would like to 'change his ways'.
The solicitor asked for the judge to consider Murden for community service and the defendant would be able to get help while in the community. Mr Lavery said Murden 'appears to have been on a spree' over the last couple of months.
He said: 'He knows the owner of the Maxol and he's ashamed about what he did, particularly because he knows the owner'.
Judge Hamill said he found it hard to believe Murden has not been involved with the probation service before and asked if a community service report could be prepared while the defendant is in custody.
He remanded Murden in custody to August 7 for a suitability report.
Judge Hamill said: 'I'm contemplating a custodial sentence but if he continues to get help in prison, I'm not making any promises'.