Wednesday 22 January 2020

Jail for man who stole €5k

Ciara Galvin

A 30-year-old man has been sentenced to eleven months in prison for stealing over €5,000 from a Sligo restaurant.

Romeo Stanescu with an address of North Circular Road, Dublin was before Sligo District Court for the theft of €5,624 from Eala Bhan on Rockwood Parade on June 18th last.

Stanescu, a Romanian national, also pleaded guilty to entering Cordners Shoe Shop as a trespasser likely to cause fear and to entering Strollers private store room likely to cause fear in others on the same date.

At a previous court sitting it was outlined at 11.20am gardaí received reports of a man trespassing at two shops in the town.

On speaking with the proprietor of Strollers and Cordners Shoes gardaí were informed that at 11.10am a man was found in the store room of Cordners Shoes.

He said he was lost and wanted to buy some shoes. He subsequently left without purchasing anything.

Earlier, at 10.33am Stanescu entered Strollers and went behind the counter before being met by staff. CCTV was reviewed and it emerged it was the same man.

At 12.30pm a burglary was reported at Eala Bhan. Proprietor, Anthony Gray told gardaí he noticed money missing from the premises at 12.30pm and on reviewing CCTV it showed Stanescu walking into the restaurant at 10.28am, going behind the counter and removing keys.

Stanescu was then seen making his way to an office where he stole the restaurant's takings.

The earlier court heard the restaurant was not open to the public at the time but was open to allow for deliveries and for staff.

The CCTV was of 'excellent quality' and an image of Stanescu was circulated. Gardaí were informed that the man was linked to a similar offence in Dublin.

The information was circulated to garda stations from Sligo to Dublin.

Stanescu's car was stopped in Mullingar and the cash was located in the vehicle.

He was brought to Mullingar Garda Station where he was later charged and the money was recovered.

The court heard Stanescu received three months in prison for a burglary which he committed in May 27th last, a six-month sentence for a burglary which took place on May 31st, a consecutive four-month sentence for a burglary on May 29th last and in 2013 a burglary charge was taken into consideration. Representing Stanescu, solicitor Ms Laura Spellman said her client instucted her that he had a gambling problem and this was partly why he committed the offence.

Sergeant Derek Butler informed the court Stanescu had seven previous convictions, five for burglary, one for no insurance and another for using a false insurance disc. Stanescu received two five-month prison sentences for the last two convictions.

Ms Spellman said her client had been in custody on these matters since June 19th last.

Judge Kevin Kilrane described matters as 'serious' sentencing him to eleven months in prison, backdated to June 19th for the theft offence.

In relation to the offence committed at Strollers, the defendant received a one month prison sentence also backdated to June 19th. The other matter was taken into consideration.

Judge Kilrane also disqualified Stanescu from driving for ten years as he used his car during the course of the events.

Sligo Champion