A shoplifter who stole a high-end speaker system from a Swords electrical shop to help pay for cocaine after he had "a slip-up" following the death of his sister has been ordered to do 240 hours of community service work.
Thomas Grimes (46) had been drug-free for years but found it difficult to cope after his sister died as a result of her own drug use last January, Swords District Court heard.
Grimes was stealing to feed his own drug addiction.
After he was deemed suitable by the Probation Services for community service, Judge Dermot Dempsey made the order that the defendant complete 240 hours in lieu of two months in prison.
Grimes, of Ferryman's Crossing, Seville Place, Dublin, pleaded guilty to the theft of the speaker system valued at €399 from Harvey Norman at Airside Retail Park in Swords last March 11.
Gda Gerard Oakes told the court that Grimes entered the store shortly after 11am, picked up the speaker system and walked out without paying.
He said Grimes was not stopped in the store but was later identified as the culprit from CCTV footage. The speaker system was not recovered.
Grimes has 20 previous convictions including six for theft- related matters.
Defence barrister Patrick Jackson said Grimes, who has two grown-up children, has not been in trouble since 2013.
He said the defendant previously had a cocaine problem but he has been clean for several years and has been doing well.
However, Mr Jackson said Grimes' sister died last January and Grimes had "a slip-up" and began using cocaine again.
"He was mourning her loss at the time of the incident and did not cope very well with her death," said Mr Jackson.
He said Grimes took the speaker system so he could sell it and buy drugs for his own use.
Mr Jackson added that the defendant is no longer taking cocaine and has been receiving treatment and counselling for his addiction.
He said the defendant wished to apologise to the court and to the staff in Harvey Norman for his behaviour.
After handing down the sentence, the judge placed Grimes on a probation bond for one year and ordered him to comply with all directions and requirements of the Probation Service.