A CASTLECONNELL man who “rifled through” the pockets of a bus driver’s jacket before taking his mobile phone, cigarettes and cash is facing the prospect of 40 hours’ community service.
Ricky Cairns, aged 31, of Castlerock Mews, Castleconnell pleaded guilty to stealing the items while on the bus from Limerick to Castleconnell on November 7, 2011.
Insp John Deasy said Cairns, who has relatives who are bus-drivers, sat in the seat directly behind the bus driver after he got on the bus.
The court was told the alarm was raised after the bus driver noticed the defendant interfering with his jacket but that he did not realise until sometime later that his property had been taken.
Cairns was subsequently identified by gardai and the stolen phone was recovered at this home.
During the same court sitting, Cairns admitted not paying a €19 taxi fare after he was brought from the city to an address at St Patrick’s Villas in Castleconnell.
Insp Deasy said the defendant, who had hailed the taxi outside the Kilmurry Lodge Hotel at 2am, ran away when he arrived at his destination.
Solicitor Tom Kiely said his client, who has 30 previous convictions, was “very embarrassed” by the offences and he lodged money with the court to pay for the taxi far.
Mr Kiely said Cairns has a problem with alcohol but that he is no longer drinking.
He added that his client is actively seeking employment in the hope he can contribute to society.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly described both offences as Low and mean” offences.
He imposed a €100 fine in relation to the non-payment of the taxi fare and he said he is considering a 40 hours community service order in relation to the theft charges.
That case was adjourned until January 30, 2013 for a probation report.