I don't believe your van theft 'story', says judge

Andrew Phelan

A DUBLIN man who allegedly broke into a van in the underground carpark of an apartment complex and stole nearly €800 worth of tools was caught by the owner and kept at the scene until the gardai arrived, a court heard.

Aidan Fortune (41) is alleged to have damaged the van and stolen the tools with another man, his friend, who escaped.

Fortune maintains he only drove to the carpark to pick up his friend; the tools were already out of the van.

But a judge said he did not believe this and said the accused "should go into story-telling".

Judge Anthony Halpin adjourned the case and said he would consider hearing a "credible" plea by Fortune if he paid €1,000 in compensation.

The accused, with an address at Donore Avenue, Tallaght, is charged with stealing a grinder, cordless drill, hammer drill and satnav at Fortune's Lawn, City West, Tallaght on November 17 last.


Fortune is also charged with causing criminal damage to the van window.

Sgt Bernard Jones told Tallaght District Court that on the day in question, the victim found the accused and another man breaking into his van.

The passenger side window was smashed and one of the two was in the van, trying to remove tools worth €790.

Some of the tools had already been removed. The victim apprehended the defendant and called the gardai. The second man escaped.

When they arrived, officers found the victim's satnav and other items had been removed from the van.