TWO men with a history of addiction stole bars of chocolate and cans of deodorant in a village supermarket, a court has heard.
Joseph Culhane, 45, of Avondale CT, Tipperary Town and George Oâ€™Neill, 36, of St Michaelâ€™s Avenue, Tipperary Town, were both before Kilmallock Court charged with theft at Mooreâ€™s Supermarket, Main Street, Hospital on March 3 last.
Inspector Paul Reidy told the court that on the date in question two men were observed acting suspiciously in Mooreâ€™s shop on Main Street, Hospital.
The court heard that Joseph Culhane put items â€“ bars of chocolate â€“ inside his clothing and left the shop.
The court heard that on a previous date in court Culhane gave the gardai a euro for the chocolate.
The court heard that on being confronted in the shop, George Oâ€™Neill placed the items he had taken - two cans of deodorant - back on the shelf.
â€œThey were identified through CCTV,â€ said Inspector Reidy.
â€œThe assorted items had a total value of â‚¬30.â€
The court heard that Culhane had four previous convictions for offences including driving without an NCT.
Oâ€™Neill, the court heard, had convictions including intoxication in a public place, engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour in a public place, and assault.
Solicitor for Culhane, Colin Morrissey, said that on the date in question, Oâ€™Neill had accompanied Culhane to purchase a second hand car in Bruff.
Mr Morrissey said that they stopped en route at the shop in Hospital.
He said that Culhane had two bars on chocolate in his possession.
â€œHe furnished â‚¬1 to the gardai in relation to payment,â€ said Mr Morrissey.
â€œMr Culhane also called to the shop to apologise to the owners for his behaviour,â€ added Mr Morrissey.
Mr Morrissey said his client who is unemployed remarked that he didnâ€™t know what he was thinking on the day in question.
â€œIt was foolhardiness on his part. He wouldnâ€™t have a history of this kind of behaviour,â€ said Mr Morrissey who added that his client also has a long history of addiction for which he has received treatment.
The court heard that George Oâ€™Neill is in receipt of disability allowance for a back injury.
Mr Morrissey said that Oâ€™Neill had â€œvery little recollectionâ€ of the date in question and pointed out that he did return the items when the shop keeper approached him.
â€œHe tells me he is clean at the moment but at the time he was under an addiction to heroin,â€ said Mr Morrissey.
â€œHe would have been in and out of treatment for a number of years. He tells me he is on the straight and narrow. He apologises for his actions. He put the items into his coat, when approached, he did give them back.â€
Judge Mary Larkin said that â€œpeople of this age and maturity shouldnâ€™t be involved in upsetting shopkeepers going about their businessâ€.
Judge Larkin imposed a fine of â‚¬100 on each of the defendants.