A SOUTH Dublin student snatched a woman's iPhone in an "out of character" theft at a popular city nightclub, a court heard.
Thomas Maguire (23) was drunk when he took the phone from the victim on a night out at Copper Face Jack's.
He avoided a conviction for the theft after he paid €1,000 to charity and Judge Michael Walsh struck the case out.
Maguire, with an address at Avonmore, Dundrum Road, pleaded guilty to stealing an iPhone 4 from a woman at the club in Harcourt Street last January 30. Dublin District Court heard the property was recovered intact and returned to the owner.
He had no previous convictions. He was deeply ashamed of what happened and would not come before the courts again, his lawyer said. He was a full-time student and worked during the summer.
The solicitor asked Judge Walsh to take account of the defendant's early guilty plea and the fact that the victim did not have to come to court.
Character references were handed in to Judge Walsh. He noted that the incident was totally out of character and happened while the accused had "consumed a certain amount of alcohol".
However, it was a serious charge and "drink can never be an excuse", the judge said.
He remarked that Maguire had cooperated with the authorities and said a conviction could have serious repercussions if the accused intended to travel.
The defendant had qualified for free legal aid but had waived that right, he added.