A LIMERICK man with 36 previous convictions – who accepts he has an “issue” with committing thefts – has had his case put back for months so he can get counselling to understand why he does these acts, Kilmallock Court has heard.
Judge Marian O’Leary was also told, by the defendant’s solicitor, Sabina Hegerty: “He has applied and obtained a grant to do a security course.”
Judge O’Leary adjourned the sentencing of Kevin Power, aged 28, of Aos Cluan, Clarina, to read a report from a counsellor.
Power is charged with two counts of handling stolen property; possession of certain articles; no insurance and driving without a driving licence.
Detective Garda Michael Reidy said he was on mobile patrol with Detective Garda Christopher Cowan in Grange on January 22, 2015.
“Our attention was drawn to a Toyota Avensis being driven in an erratic manner. We followed the vehicle for two or three kilometres before stopping it,” said Det Garda Reidy.
During a search they found a hedge trimmers which the detective said was stolen in a burglary in County Limerick on January 18.
“There was a Honda generator in the boot that had been stolen at 4.30am that morning. It was identified by its owner,” said Det Garda Reidy.
The detectives also found three bolt cutters, glass-breaking hammer, nail bar and gloves in the car.
“There are all associated with committing burglaries. He was arrested and conveyed to Bruff garda station where he made certain admissions,” said Det Garda Reidy.
The court heard that Power has 36 previous convictions including for theft, handling stolen property, assault and criminal damage.
Det Garda Reidy told Judge Marian O’Leary that Power received a three-month sentence suspended for two years in May 2014 for criminal damage.
This was activated in July 2015 when Power was convicted of driving without insurance for the sixth time. He was also given a two month sentence to run concurrently.
“He is currently on temporary release [from prison],” said Det Garda Reidy.
Sabina Hegerty, solicitor for Power, said her client wishes to convey his apologies to the court.
“He has penned a letter to yourself [Judge O’Leary] and his girlfriend has also penned a letter. He does have an issue with theft. “He hopes to start a counselling course to understand why he is committing these acts. He got a wake-up call from the custodial sentence in June. He was never in prison before and he got a shock,” said Ms Hegerty, who added that Power has taken the opportunity of temporary release.
“He has engaged with PALS [Psychological Assessments and Learning Solutions]. Due to their policy I can’t hand in a letter to the court but I have spoken to a person there and he is a model student.
“He has engaged with them and has never missed a meeting. He has applied and obtained a grant to do a security course,” said Ms Hegerty.
The solicitor said Power is extremely apologetic and hasn’t come to garda attention since his temporary release.
“He is a father of three and has a partner of 10 years. He is an ideal candidate for the Probation Services. He acknowledges he has an issue with theft. He is extremely apologetic and is trying his hardest,” said Ms Hegerty.
Judge O’Leary said she was going to adjourn the matter.
“I want a report from the counsellor and I will deal with sentencing again,” said Judge O’Leary.
Power informed the judge through his solicitor he was only at the referral stage [to see a counsellor].
The case was put back until December.