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Ireland's unluckiest criminal back in jail for stealing blouses

ONE of Ireland's unluckiest criminals has ended up in prison again -- this time after he was caught stealing women's blouses from a city centre store.

Disabled shooting victim Thomas O'Driscoll (28), who had learned to walk again when he was run down by a car and put back in a wheelchair, has admitted a fresh series of shoplifting charges.

Judge Victor Blake jailed him for five months at Dublin District Court after hearing he had now been convicted 114 times for a variety of offences, dating back to when he was a teenager.

O'Driscoll, a father-of-one, from St Mary's Mansions, Railway Street, was shot and paralysed in 2006, years after his father was stabbed to death in front of him and his uncle shot.


He regained the ability to walk against the odds, but was then knocked down by a car and ended up in a wheelchair again.

In court last week, he admitted stealing 11 blouses worth €522 from Marks & Spencer, Liffey Valley, another €400 theft from No Name, Henry Street, and changing price tags at Penneys, Mary Street, to get T-shirts for less than half price.

The court heard the thefts happened in January and May this year. His long list of previous convictions included theft, drugs and motoring offences.

Defence solicitor Jenny McGeever said the accused's father had been stabbed to death in front of him at the age of nine.

O'Driscoll was sentenced to detention shortly after leaving primary school and did not formally attend school following that.

Early cannabis-taking developed into drug addiction which he was only now starting to address.

Ms McGeever said the accused was now able to walk but used the wheelchair as much as he could to relieve the severe pain his injuries had caused him.

"Despite all that he is determined to continue the process he has begun," Ms McGeever said.

Judge Blake gave him three concurrent sentences, totalling five months.


At a hearing in May this year, another lawyer for O'Driscoll said: "His life took a turn even more for the worse when he was a shooting victim himself," his lawyer said.

"The lower half of his body was paralysed, but with physiotherapy he was able to walk short distances and cycle. Then he was hit by a car."