Drug user stole speaker system to pay for cocaine
A shoplifter stole a high-end speaker system to help pay for cocaine after he had "a slip" following the death of his sister.
Thomas Grimes (46) had been drug-free for years, but he found it difficult to cope after his sister died as a result of her own drug use last January.
A court heard the defendant was stealing to feed his own addiction.
Judge Dermot Dempsey ordered Grimes to complete 240 hours of community service in lieu of two months in prison.
The defendant admitted before Swords District Court to stealing a speaker system valued at €399.
The theft took place at Harvey Norman, Airside Retail Park, Swords, last March 11.
Gda Gerard Oakes told the court that Grimes entered the store shortly after 11am, picked up the speaker system and walked out without paying for it.
He said Grimes was not stopped in the store and he was later identified as the culprit from CCTV footage.
The officer said the speaker system was not recovered.
The court heard that the defendant, of Ferryman's Crossing, Seville Place, Dublin 1, has 20 previous convictions, including six for theft-related matters.
Defence lawyer Patrick Jackson said Grimes has not been in trouble since 2013.
He said the defendant is a father of two grown-up children and is in a relationship with a long-term partner.
He added that he previously had a cocaine problem.
The lawyer said Grimes had been clean of drugs for several years and had been doing very well.
However, Mr Jackson said the defendant's sister died tragically last January, and Grimes had "a slip" and began using cocaine again.
The lawyer said Grimes did not cope very well with his sister's death, and he was mourning her loss at the time of this incident. In relation to the theft, Mr Jackson said Grimes took the speaker system so he could sell it and buy drugs for his own use.
Mr Jackson said the defendant was no longer taking cocaine and was receiving treatment and counselling for his addiction.
He said Grimes wished to apologise to the court and to the staff in Harvey Norman for his behaviour.
Judge Dempsey ordered urinalysis and adjourned the case to a date in September to allow the probation service to assess the defendant's suitability for community service.