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Beer heist coach stored stolen bike

A FOOTBALL coach who was given a suspended sentence for possession of 450 kegs of beer stolen from the Guinness brewery has admitted handling a stolen motorcycle in a related incident.

Karl Carey (24) was ordered to carry out community service to avoid a jail sentence for the latest charge.

The motorbike was found at the same Co Meath lock-up that the kegs of beer taken in the Diageo heist were located.

Dublin District Court heard Carey had a lesser role in the operation and was described by his lawyer as a "facilitator rather than an instigator".

Judge Victor Blake ordered him to carry out 200 hours' community service instead of an eight-month sentence.

He also told Carey to pay €680 to the motorcycle's owner for damage that had been caused to it.

Carey of Jamestown Road Finglas, admitted a charge of handling stolen property.

The court heard as part of the investigation into the theft from Guinness on Victoria Quay, gardai went to a lockup at Whitecross Farm, Julianstown, Co Meath that was occupied by the defendant on December 3, 2007. The bike had been taken on July 7 that year at Lusk Road, Skerries, and was returned to the owner a month after it was found in the lock-up.

The court hear the accused had already paid €4,000 in compensation to Diageo after pleading guilty to possession of the stolen kegs of beer at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Defence Barrister Marc Thompson Grolimund said the accused had been involved at a "low level" compared to others.

"He acted as a facilitator rather than an instigator," he said.

The defendant had no previous convictions except for two minor motoring offences.

Everything had been "above board" in relation to his renting of the lock-up -- he had been using it to store and deliver drinks to locations around the country.

"He was approached by individuals to store this alcohol and store the bike as well," Mr Thompson Grolimund said.

The suspended sentence for possession of the alcohol was handed down at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court earlier this year.

Carey was living with his partner, who was due to give birth to their first child this November.

He worked as a taxi driver and coached an under-14s football team in Cabra three times per week.

"This is not a man who is idly hanging around committing offences," Mr Thompson Grolimund said.