A JUDGE has criticised the ‘revolving door’ system at Limerick Prison after he was informed a serial thief was released weeks into an eight month prison sentence.
Gordon Ryan, aged 53, who has an address at McGarry House pleaded guilty to several theft offences when he appeared before Limerick Court.
The case was due to be heard last Thursday but was adjourned due to the defendant’s state of intoxication on that date.
When the case did proceed, Mr Ryan, who has more than 100 previous convictions, admitted stealing chocolate, alcohol and other food items from several stores in the city on dates between September 2, and February 18, last.
He also admitted stealing between €20 and €30 in cash from a 15-year-old boy who was collecting for the ISPCC at Pery Square on December 12, last and to smashing a window at the Old Stand pub on Henry Street on December 30.
The defendant also admitted being abusive and aggressive towards Garda Richie Quigley when he was asked to leave the precincts of the district court on February 19, last.
After being informed by Sergeant Donal Cronin that Mr Ryan was sentenced to eight months imprisonment for separate theft matters last October, Judge Eugene O’Kelly noted that all of the offences had happened at a time when he should have been in prison.
“It seems that as soon as the prison authorities can sober him up, he is put (back) out into society where he continues to regularly offend,” he commented adding that Mr Ryan is a “complete nuisance to shopkeepers, off licences and young charity workers.”
The judge imposed prison sentences totalling ten months imprisonment.
In doing so he said: “I am disappointed that I am faced with sentencing him for these offences which happened at a time when I expected him to be in prison.”