A BALLINACURRA Weston man who was caught attempting to steal copper piping from a derelict house on the south side of Limerick city was sentenced to three months imprisonment.
Patrick McMahon, aged 52, of Raheen Square pleaded guilty to theft charges relating to the incident on March 14, 2012.
Inspector Luke Conlon said the defendant, was one of three men who were detected in the house at Hyde Road, Prospect by gardai who were on routine patrol in the area.
Solicitor Darach McCarthy said the house was unoccupied at the time and that it had been earmarked for demolition as part of the regeneration process.
He said his client, an unemployed father of three, often collects scrap metal and sells it in order to make some money.
“It is a perilous existence,” said Mr McCarthy.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly commented that the problem with the behaviour of Mr McMahon was that he didn’t ask permission to take the copper.
“There is no difficulty if the (scrap collectors) ask the owners of the property if the can take it,” he said adding that Mr McMahon had been “extremely reckless”.
The judge noted that the defendant has a number of previous convictions including one for a similar offence in County Clare.
He was also informed that he has a number of previous convictions for failing to appear in court and has attracted several bench warrants.
The judge sentence Mr McMahon to three months imprisonment but ordered that it be served consecutively to a six month sentence, which he is currently serving in relation to separate matters.
Leave to appeal the severity of the sentence was granted.