Man says theft of €447 worth of candles was 'romantic gesture', court hears
A SHOPLIFTER who stole scented candles worth more than €400 to woo his partner ended up on theft and hit-and-run charges.
Kenneth Malone (35) was pursued from the shop where he stole the candles by a security guard, Tallaght District Court was told.
He jumped into his car but in his panic he managed to crash into another car, causing €1,500 worth of damage to the other vehicle, then fled the scene.
Judge Patricia McNamara ordered a probation report and adjourned sentencing to a date in January.
The defendant, from Tallaght, pleaded guilty to theft and two hit-and-run charges, failing to report an occurrence and failing to keep a vehicle at the scene.
The incidents took place at Homestore and More, Belgard Road, Tallaght, on November 2 last year.
Garda Gearoid O’Brien said that Malone entered the store and stole a number of Yankee Candles, worth €447.
Gda O’Brien said Malone went past all points of payment and left the store.
He was pursued by a security guard, but he got into a Renault Clio and left the scene. As he drove away, he crashed into another car but failed to stop.
Gda O’Brien said the property was not recovered.
The court heard that Malone had 20 previous convictions but had not been in trouble for six years. Defence solicitor Michael Hennessy said that Malone had “panicked”.
The lawyer said that Malone took the candles for his partner as a “romantic gesture” as the “scent was overwhelming”.
However, the romantic gesture had “completely backfired”, he added.
The court heard that the damage to the car amounted to €1,500, and the damage had been covered by insurance.
Mr Hennessy said that the defendant was unemployed and on social welfare.
Malone had four children and had previously worked as a courier, a bricklayer and a window fitter.
He apologised to the court for his behaviour on the day and for the damage caused to the other vehicle.