Tuesday 23 January 2018

Claimed he did not steal kitchen cash

A Dundalk man clocked up his 100th conviction at the district court recently after he was found guilty of stealing money from the office of a local kitchen business.

Simon Maguire (47), 2 Woodland Park, pleaded not guilty to burglary at Quayside Kitchens on March 1. But Judge John Coughlan was shown CCTV of a man matching Maguire's description in the area at the time.

The owner of the business said that he was working in the company, which is located close to the Spirit Store at George's Quay, when he started locking up at around 5.40pm. He was alerted to the presence of a man by an electrician working at the pub nearby and the following morning, his colleague asked him if he had taken money from the office. He told her he didn't and they contacted Gardai.

Under cross examination from solicitor Peter Lavery, the business owner said the office would only have been empty for 'a couple of minutes' that evening.

Garda Keith Ginnity gave evidence that officers were told about the burglary the following day and said that €155 was stolen from a cash box from the office of Quayside Kitchens. Gardai got CCTV footage from the Spirit Store and said it showed Maguire in the area at 5.35pm and leaving a short time later.

The footage was shown to the court and Garda Ginnity said when Maguire was arrested and questioned, he made no admissions. And his fingerprints were not found on the cash box when it was dusted.

Mr Lavery told the judge that the footage did not show Maguire going into the showrooms but Gda. Ginnity said Maguire was clearly in the area around the time the burglary happened.

Mr Lavery said his client was adamant he didn't take anything from Quayside Kitchen, there was no evidence that the money had been there and the owner had admitted the office was only empty for a couple of minutes and he asked the judge to dismiss the case. Mr Lavery said a conviction would only be based on Maguire being in the area.

Judge Coughlan convicted the defendant and asked if Maguire had any previous. He was told the burglary is the accused's 100th conviction, prompting the judge to say: 'He's obviously very unsuccessful' at what he's doing.

Mr Lavery said Maguire comes 'from a very difficult background', is a member of the Traveller community and suffers from alcoholism.

Judge Coughlan imposed a five month sentence and allowed Maguire to appeal if he lodges €200 in court.

The Argus

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