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Judge lashes student over stolen laptops

A "SYSTEMATIC, intelligent criminal" is costing the taxpayer up to €40,000 a year in State handouts, a court has heard.

Moses Luke (36) was caught in possession of electronics equipment that had allegedly been stolen from people while he was being put through college and getting rent allowance at a cost of €562 a week.

Judge Cormac Dunne calculated that in total Luke was costing the state €40,000 annually while breaking the law. He described him as a "disgrace" to taxpayers who were working hard to keep the country going.

Judge Dunne was commenting after Luke appeared in Dublin District Court on charges of handling stolen property.

The accused, with an address at Russell Crescent, Russell Square, Tallaght, was charged with possession of a stolen laptop, Apple iPhone, projector and projector screen at his home on January 11, 2011.


The charges are under Section 17 of the Theft And Fraud Offences Act.

Judge Dunne adjourned the case to give Luke an opportunity to show he was "behaving", but warned he would jail him for eight months if he got into trouble again.

Luke claimed he was "misled" when he received the stolen property. His barrister said he admitted accepting the objects but did not steal them himself.

The court heard the accused was in receipt of an education grant of €350 a week and was getting €212 in weekly rent allowance.

He was from Nigeria and had been in Ireland for nine years.

"He is getting his education paid for and rent allowance and still he is upsetting the people of this State," Judge Dunne said.

"What would happen in Nigeria if you committed these crimes?" he asked the accused.

"What would you get? Ten years? You are a disgrace to all the people who are working hard to keep everything going.

"This man is a systematic, intelligent criminal who has thankfully been detected. It's time he woke up and realised how good he is getting it here."