Judge praises civilian witness for bravery following theft of Christmas lights

Limerick Courthouse

Limerick Courthouse


A JUDGE has praised the actions of a member of the public who “very bravely detained” a man who had smashed a car window and stolen a set of Christmas lights from the vehicle.

Darren O’Donovan, 24, of Emmett Place, Joseph Street, pleaded guilty at Limerick Court to theft on Roches Street in the early hours of December 8, 2013.

Mr O’Donovan has 26 previous convictions, including for theft, burglary and criminal damage.

The independent witness who held the accused until gardai arrived was not in any way connected with the car.

Judge Eugene O’Kelly praised this individual, particularly after hearing Mr O’Donovan was in the presence of another when he committed the offence.

But John Herbert, solicitor, said his client had made no attempt to flee.

“He was capable of breaking a window and putting his hand into a car but he was capable of very little else,” Mr Herbert said in explaining his client’s state of sobriety.

The accused lived with his parents, whose home was “suitably decorated for Christmas” making the offence all the more pointless.

Judge O’Kelly adjourned sentencing to September 3 for payment of €150 compensation to the owner of the car.

If this was paid, the judge said he would impose a suspended sentence.

If not, Mr O’Donovan could expect to go to jail.


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