A YOUNG man who was caught climbing a garden wall carrying a stolen lawnmower and strimmer has been told to make amends for the crime by volunteering in the local community over the summer.
Martin Higgins, aged 20, who has an address at South Circular Road pleaded guilty to stealing the items, worth €500, in the early hours of January 30, last.
Sgt Donal Cronin told Limerick court the defendant was apprehended by gardai who responded to reports of an intruder at a house at the Crescent, Kilteragh, Dooradoyle shortly after 4.30am.
He said Higgins had taken the lawmower and strimmer from a garden shed a short time earlier and was arrested as he was leaving the house.
The property was recovered and returned to the owner.
When formally charged following the incident Higgins replied “sorry” and “sorry again” to the two charges.
Solicitor Sarah Ryan said her client, who has never been in trouble before, has a “very good work record” but that he is currently unemployed and is in receipt of just €100 per week.
When asked by Judge Eugene O’kelly what Higgins was doing with a lawmower and strimmer at 4.40am, Ms Ryan replied he intended selling the items to raise some money.
She added that her client is taking the matter very seriously and is very very concerned about going to prison.
Ms Ryan added that her client was grateful for the quick garda response on the night as it possibly prevented him from getting into more serious trouble.
Judge O’Kelly commented that the case was unusual and he said were he to record a conviction, a community service order would be the appropriate penalty.
“It is unusual that somebody with no previous convictions should embark on this sort of enterprise,” he said adding that Higgins had acted in a “most nonsensical manner.”
The judge noted that Higgins was sober when he committed the offence and that he had pleaded guilty at an early stage.
He adjourned the case until September indicating that he may not record a formal conviction if the defendant carries out some work in the local community in the meantime.
“I want to hear from him in September what he has done himself to make amends to the community by volunteering etc,” he said.