Sunday 22 April 2018

Man stole perfume and cosmetics worth €6k to pay off gambling debt, court hears

The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

Fiona Ferguson

A man who stole over €6000 of perfume, cosmetics and health supplements from city centre stores was concerned for his safety due to his gambling debt, a court has heard.

Craig Bergin (31), who made no attempt to disguise himself during the thefts, was captured on CCTV footage of the incidents. He was wearing distinctive blue casts on his two broken arms.

Bergin, formerly of Griffith Court, Marino, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to theft at Boots and at Holland & Barrett, both on Grafton Street, Dublin 2 on dates in October 2015.

Garda Bernard Maguire told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that staff at Boots reported that bottles of perfume and aftershave, and on one occasion cosmetics, were taken from the shop on six dates between October 7 and November 17, 2015. The value of the stock taken was €6,000.

Staff at Holland & Barrett reported health supplements valued at €883 had been stolen.

Bergin's home was searched but none of the stock was recovered. He identified himself on the footage and told gardai he had just taken the stock and run out of the shops. He said he had problems with alcohol and gambling debts and was concerned for his safety.

Gda Maguire agreed with Sandra Frayne BL, defending, that Bergin had been respectful to gardai.

He accepted Bergin had gambling and drug debts that he would have been motivated to pay off.

Ms Frayne handed in a psychiatry report on her clients behalf and said he had been suffering with mental health issues including anxiety. He was released from a previous sentence in February and then spent some time in St Vincent's Hospital, Fairview before being discharged last month.

Bergin has 52 previous convictions but has not come to recent garda attention.

The court heard Bergin was linking in with The Simon Community who had provided accommodation for him at their Carmen's Hall hostel. He is attending a daily mental health clinic and is on prescribed medication.

Ms Frayne said Bergin was doing well and was anxious to prove himself to the court.

Judge Elma Sheahan adjourned the case for one year and put Bergin under probation supervision.

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