A MAN who stole three barrels of beer – containing a total of 260 pints – from outside a West Limerick pub intended to drink it all himself, a court has heard.
Mark Crawford, aged 35, of Crecora Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston, Limerick has pleaded guilty to the theft of three barrels of Heineken worth €540 from outside Cagney’s bar in Askeaton on July 20, 2012.
Newcastle West court heard last week that Crawford is “a chronic alcoholic” with liver problems, and that the stolen beer was “solely for his own consumption”.
Insp Paul Reidy told the court that after receiving a report that beer had been stolen from outside the bar, gardai analysed CCTV footage taken in the area and identified Crawford as the culprit. The court heard that the beer has not been recovered.
Crawford has a number of previous convictions, including a three-month suspended sentence for theft in October 2012, one month in jail for another theft in May 2011, and a total of ten months in prison for drugs offences in 2000. Crawford was also prosecuted last week with failing to appear in court on May 14 of this year.
Solicitor Michael O’Donnell, defending, said that Crawford is “a chronic alcoholic” and his addiction to drugs and alcohol “causes him a lot of trouble”.
Mr O’Donnell said that Crawford had taken the three barrels “solely for his own consumption... he drinks a lot”. When asked by Judge Mary Larkin how he intended to tap them, Mr O’Donnell said “he has a tap, I imagine”.
The court heard that Crawford has six children, and is “the guardian and sole custodian” of two of them, who are aged four and five.
Mr O’Donnell said that the defendant suffers with “a lot of health problems” and takes “a multitude” of medications daily to treat problems with his stomach and liver.
Mr O’Donnell said that “if given time, he will pay compensation” of €540 to the owner of the stolen beer. Mr O’Donnell said that Crawford’s failure to appear in court in May was due to his attendance at a funeral.
The judge said “he’ll continue to have problems with his health if he keeps drinking that much alcohol”.
Mr O’Donnell requested that the case be adjourned for several months in order to give the accused a “realistic” chance to pay compensation.
The case was adjourned until October 8.