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Student nabbed with equipment for getting bank cards from ATMs

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A university student caught with equipment used for retrieving bank cards from ATMs has been spared a jail sentence, after he pleaded to be allowed to remain with his wife and children.

Deividas Sevcenko (34) was highly intoxicated when he was stopped by gardaí on March 1 last year while walking with a friend in north Dublin, a court has heard.

After searching the men, gardaí found two metal implements that are used in ATM thefts, Garda Elaine Gallery told Pieter Le Vert BL, prosecuting.

Sevcenko, with an address in Holywell Dene, Swords, Co Dublin, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing equipment with the intention of using it in a theft at Howth Road, Raheny.

Passing sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today, Judge Melanie Greally said Sevcenko had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and had been given a favourable probation report recommending community service.

She ordered him to complete 240 hours of community service within a year, in lieu of 12 months in prison.

The court heard that the mitigating factors included the manner in which Sevcenko had addressed the case, his lack of significant previous convictions, his education and his family circumstances.

Previously, Gda Gallery had told the court that the metal implements were used for retrieving bank cards from ATMs, rather than trapping them. She said the equipment had been sent off for analysis and was found to be “viable”.

Sevcenko has five previous convictions for road traffic offences and failing to appear in court.

Defence barrister Anne-Marie Lawlor BL said Sevcenko was extremely ashamed for what he had done. The court heard that after he was arrested, Sevcenko was assessed by a doctor who recommended his interview be delayed by four hours because he was so drunk.

While noting it was no excuse, Ms Lawlor said it was this drunkenness that led to Sevcenko getting involved in the offence in the first place.

“Due to the level of intoxication which he was responsible for placing himself in, he became involved in an enterprise he would otherwise have had nothing to do with,” she said.

The court heard Sevcenko was a married father of two children. He originally came from Lithuania but has been living here for 12 years.

He worked as a carpenter until the recession and was now enrolled in a full-time degree course, due to be completed next year. His wife was also in full-time education.

Ms Lawlor said Sevcenko was “willing to do anything the court will allow him to do in order to stay in the community with his wife and children”.