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Broke dad handled stolen kids’ clothes

A FATHER of four caught handling stolen children’s clothing was under huge financial pressure to buy Christmas presents for his children, a court heard.

James Coogan (34) admitted he had the clothing, worth more than €700, in the boot after his car was stopped.

Judge David McHugh imposed a three-month sentence suspended for one year.

The defendant, of Marsfield Avenue, Clongriffin, Dublin 15 admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to handling stolen property.

Gda Eoin Pelly said he was on mobile patrol at Blanchardstown Shopping Centre last November 30 when he stopped Coogan driving a 2003-registered vehicle.

Gda Pelly asked Coogan if he had anything he shouldn’t have, and he replied “yes, clothing, they’re in the boot”.

The court heard that children’s clothing, worth €773, was in the car boot. The property was returned to Debenhams in a saleable condition.

Defence lawyer Jennifer Jackson said the defendant, who is unemployed, has a long- term partner and four children.

Ms Jackson said that Coogan was under financial pressure at the time, and had the clothing for his children for Christmas.

She also said he was very sorry for his behaviour.