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Thief who stole €20,000 worth of photography equipment spotted later by victim

Martin Keane
Martin Keane

A man who stole €20,000 worth of photography equipment was caught after the victim saw him drinking in a hotel bar hours later.

Martin Keane (59) was “caught red-handed” in the Dublin city centre hotel when the victim recognised him from CCTV recordings of the theft.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Brian Samuelson was working as a professional photographer in the Gibson Hotel and had left his equipment in a hotel room.

He left the room unattended and when he came back all the equipment was gone. Gardaí and the victim viewed CCTV footage.

Later that day Mr Samuelson, a US citizen, was in a bar at the Gresham Hotel on Dublin's O'Connell Street when he recognised two men drinking at the bar as the men in the footage. He called gardaí and when they arrived the second man fled.

Keane of Ashley court, Manchester was arrested but was too drunk to be interviewed until the following day. He later pleaded guilty to carrying out the theft on November 24, 2015.

The court heard that Keane was only in Ireland for a day trip and that the theft was opportunistic and unplanned. All but €2,000 worth of the stolen gear was recovered.

His 16 previous convictions are for theft and shop lifting offences in the UK.

Dominic McGinn SC, defending, said that his client was not a hardened criminal. He asked the court to consider that Keane had recently begun to suffer serious problems with his health.

Judge Karen O'Connor said that Keane was a prolific thief who was caught red-handed this time.

She suspended a sentence of six months imprisonment on condition that Keane pay a sum of €2,000 over to the Capuchin Day Centre for homeless people.