19 May 2022

Judge not impressed with serial offender who stole charity boxes from Limerick stores

The Courthouse, Mulgrave Street

Limerick Courthouse, Mulgrave Street

A SERIAL offender who stole charity boxes from two different businesses in the city centre has been sentenced to five months’ imprisonment.

Martin Hannan, aged 49, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to a number of theft charges relating to offences which occurred in February of this year.

Inspector Fiona McGrath told Limerick District Court, the defendant took a box containing €60 in cash from The Golden Grill takeaway on February 5 and that he stole another box, containing €184, from the Centra store at Upper William Street on February 22.

The stolen property was not recovered and that the two charities remain out-of-pocket.

Mr Hannan was quickly identified as a suspect and made admissions when questioned following his arrest.

Solicitor John Hebert said his client, who has more than 70 previous convictions, has been homeless for a large part of his adult life and “cannot keep his affairs in order”.

Seeking leniency from the court, he said Mr Hannan, who is originally from Tipperary Town, had not sought hostel accommodation since arriving in Limerick more than a year ago and has been “living day-to-day”.

While he is a drug user, the solicitor said the 49-year-old is not an addict.

Imposing sentence, Judge Patricia Harney said the crimes were “particularly mean” and she expressed concern that he had deliberately targeted charity boxes.

She imposed ten-week prison sentences in relation to each of the thefts and ordered that they be served consecutively.

A €100 fine was imposed for a separate public order offence while Mr Hannan was also fined €100 over his failure to appear in court on an earlier date.

The severity of the prison sentences has been appealed to the circuit court.

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