The Argus

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Two whiskey thieves were 'driven by need for alcohol'

TWO men who broke into a Dundalk supermarket and stole whiskey before being found by Gardai nearby have been jailed.

Keith Hughes (20), 74 Oakland Park and Wayne Moran (21), 435 Ashling Park, were before Dundalk District Court last week.

Judge Flann Brennan was told how Hughes was seen shortly before midnight on September 11th on the roof of McEvoy's, Clanbrassil Street.

He ran away when Gardai arrived and later that night, Hughes and Moran stole four bottles of whiskey from Aldi, St Helena Park.

Gardai told the court they set up a 'sting operation' and found the pair behind a wall at nearby BK Forklifts.

They were arrested and have been in custody since.

Solicitor Frank McDonnell said there had been a number of services involved with Hughes over the years and they had tried to help him, but it had 'reached the stage where the end was law-breaking'.

Mr McDonnell said Hughes's main problem was drink and together with Moran, they 'make a very bad mix because they are driven by a need for alcohol'.

He said Hughes had 'a dysfunctional background' and there had been no adult guidance in his life for a long time.

He said that behind Hughes's sometimes agitated state, there was a clever young man but that aspect had never been brought to fruition.

Judge Brennan said the only way to stop Hughes from committing crime was to incarcerate him and he sentenced him to 11 months.

The judge was told that Moran had 37 previous convictions, mostly for thefts and traffic. Mr McDonnell said that despite a number of expert reports on Moran 'a plateau had been reached'.

He said Moran was suffering from psychosis ' brought on by cannabis and a dull intellect'.

The solicitor said Moran's parents had been supportive of him but 'this offending was inevitable'.

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He said his client's parents were worried about him being in prison and 'God knows what the future holds for him'.

Judge Brennan imposed a three month sentence on Moran and ordered that he receive medical and psychiatric treatment.