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Thief walked out of hotel with 25 laptops

A BALLYMUN man who helped steal 25 laptops from a hotel conference has been given a suspended sentence after spending a week in custody to consider his future.

Charlie Brodigan (22), who said he was "full to the brim" with tablets before the offence, hung a laptop bag from his shoulder in an attempt to look more business-like as he helped carry the suitcases containing the laptops out of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry.

The court heard Brodigan went looking for drug treatment after the offence and has been clean of drugs for nine months.

Judge Martin Nolan had last week remanded him in custody, saying Brodigan "can see if he wants this for his future".

Yesterday Olan Callanan, defending, told Judge Nolan that it had been Brodigan's first time in custody and "it had a very significant impact on him".

Judge Nolan said he would allow Brodigan to reform himself within the community and imposed a two-and-a-half year sentence, which he suspended in full on strict conditions.

Training

Brodigan, of Coultry Way, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to stealing the laptops at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry on December 18, 2011. The laptops were valued at about €20,000, taking into account depreciation.

Garda Andrew Lambe told Lisa Dempsey, prosecuting, that the Kerry Group had been carrying out staff training in a conference room and had brought a number of laptops.

Gardai viewed CCTV from the hotel after the laptops were found to be missing and identified Brodigan and another man removing the suitcases containing the laptops.

Brodigan was arrested and told gardai he was on two "bags of weed" a day to keep himself calm and had started taking tablets. He told gardai he had been "full to the brim" with tablets and had a number of drinks while watching a football game at the hotel.

Brodigan had given one laptop to his girlfriend and sold two for €100 each. The three laptops were recovered, but 22 are still missing.

Brodigan had left school at 16 and began using hash, cocaine and eventually crack cocaine. He also became heavily addicted to diazepam.

Mr Callanan said that after the offence Brodigan had gone into a residential treatment facility and was now clean.

hnews@herald.ie


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