A STREET beggar who was arrested three times as part of Operation Prowl was sentenced to two weeks imprisonment for escaping from lawful custody.
Wayne Roe, aged 33, of no fixed abode, is accused of obstructing pedestrians while begging on O’Connell Street on three separate dates earlier this month.
At Limerick Court, Judge Eugene O’Kelly was told a bench warrant, which was issued after he failed to appear in court previously was executed ten days ago.
Solicitor Ted McCarthy said his client, who is unemployed, is addicted to heroin and he told the court that he “seeks to finance that by sitting on the street begging”.
Mr McCarthy added that there was “no question” of his client being aggressive towards members of the public.
Judge O’Kelly noted that on April 12, last after the bench warrant was executed at a special court sitting, the defendant had escaped from custody as he was being brought from the courthouse to a garda van, which was parked outside.
He said Mr Roe had tried to evade three gardai on the day and that he was “very difficult and aggressive” when he was apprehended a short time later due to the “efficiency of the gardai”.
While accepting that his client had escaped from lawful custody Mr McCarthy said he did not get far as he was “apprehended almost immediately”.
After convicting Mr Roe of failing to appear in court on April 11 last, Judge O’Kelly sentenced him to two weeks imprisonment.
The defendant was granted bail in relation to the begging matters, which will disposed of on May 21, next.
Wayne Roe is one of a number of people, who have been brought before the courts in recent weeks having been arrested as part of Operation Prowl.
As part of the pilot initiative, which was launched late last month, four ‘dedicated gardai’ from Henry Street station have been deployed in the city centre on a full time basis during key retail working hours.
The initiative, which is targeting issues such as shoplifting, street begging, public drunkenness and street collections, is being run in conjunction with the Limerick City Business Association at Limerick Chamber.