A man decided to take hydrangeas – planted in Glenbeigh by the local community council – as “a romantic gesture”, the district court has heard.
Philip O’Gorman (37), 23 Bridge Road, Listowel, was convicted last Thursday in Cahersiveen Court House of stealing three plants to the value of €75 on July 19, 2020, from Kilnabrack, Upper Glenbeigh.
Gardaí received a report at approximately 5pm on the date in question, and they travelled to the location, where they met Mr O’Gorman. He admitted to taking the plants having thought they were wild. He returned the items, with no loss to the owners of the property stolen, Glenbeigh Community Council.
Mr O’Gorman has 28 previous convictions, mainly for public-order and road-traffic matters, but none for theft. He previously received a four-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, for a 2015 assault.
His defence solicitor, Pádraig O’Connell, told the Court that his client had been travelling towards the beach with his partner on the day in question and decided to take the plants as a romantic gesture.
The plants were in an open area, and he placed them at the back of his vehicle, Mr O’Connell said. The act was not carried out under the cover of darkness, and there was no attempt to conceal the plants, the Court heard.
Mr O’Connell said his client would not have touched the plants had he known they were not wild. He was contrite for what had happened and “didn’t mean to upset anyone”.
Judge David Waters convicted and fined Mr O’Gorman €400.