Farmer who helped to steal 300 sheep avoids a jail term
A farmer who was involved in a €30,000 sheep-stealing scam has narrowly avoided a jail sentence.
John Lawless of Fallon's Bar, Dysart, Co Roscommon, admitted his role in the theft of 300 sheep at Ballyforan, Co Roscommon, on February 20, 2010.
Judge Tony Hunt said the scam, which involved an advertisement placed in the 'Farmers Journal', was "determined and planned".
An earlier sitting of Roscommon Circuit Criminal Court heard that Galway farmer Kieran Dolan had agreed to sell 300 ewes for €29,700 in February 2010, to a man called 'David O'Reilly', who was driving a jeep owned and registered to Lawless.
A bank draft was handed to the farmer, which turned out to be counterfeit.
Lawless (38) initially denied any involvement but pleaded guilty to handling stolen property when the matter came before the circuit court.
Judge Hunt was yesterday told that compensation had now been paid in full to Mr Dolan.
Imposing a three-year suspended sentence, Judge Hunt said: "If there is as much as a peep out of him (Lawless), I will send him to prison."