Monday 23 October 2017

Cancer patient stole 41 packets of false eyelashes from Penneys

Penney's flagship store on O'Connell Street in Dublin
Penney's flagship store on O'Connell Street in Dublin

Andrew Phelan

A SHOPLIFTER was arrested after he was caught stealing 41 packs of false eyelashes from a city centre store.

Vasile Popa (45) had "no personal reason" for taking the fake eyelashes, but had suffered from erratic behaviour after being treated for cancer, a court heard.

Judge Anthony Halpin applied the Probation Act, leaving the accused without a theft conviction.

Popa, a former security guard with an address at Spiddal Road, Ballyfermot, pleaded guilty to stealing the goods, which were worth €61.50.

Dublin District Court heard the incident happened at Penneys on O'Connell Street Lower on May 24.

Popa went into the store's cosmetics section at 6.40pm and picked up 41 packets of fake eyelashes, which he concealed before leaving without paying.

He was stopped, gardai were called and he was arrested and charged. The property was recovered in a saleable condition and returned to Penneys, a garda sergeant said.

UNEXPLAINED

Popa had previous convictions, but none were recent.

"The latest offence doesn't make a lot of sense," Sgt Stephen O'Mahony said. "He has no personal reason for taking fake eyelashes. He can't explain what happened - he had no reason to take the items."

Mr O'Mahony said while some people might shoplift goods to sell, the defendant had no need to do this either.

"Vanity might be a motivational factor," Judge Halpin said.

Mr O'Mahony indicated this was not the case.

Popa had suffered from cancer of the nasopharynx and this had subsided after treatment, but it had the effect of causing some erratic behaviour, Mr O'Mahony said.

His treatment had finished and he was only on over-the-counter medication. He did explain to gardai when he came to his senses that he was suffering from irrational behaviour.

The accused had worked in security, so he understood the issue of shoplifting.

Mr O'Mahony handed a medical letter in to court in support of his mitigation.

"He genuinely didn't harbour any intention of stealing on the day in question," the judge read from the letter, before applying the Probation Act.

Herald

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