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Finglas brothers who handled €1000 of wine stolen from celeb chef’s restaurant avoid jail

Glen Ward (30) and Eric O’Driscoll (21) were each given four month suspended sentences for handling 18 bottles of wines

Glen Ward

Eric O'Driscoll

Andrew Phelan

TWO brothers who acted as “lookouts” while other men stole nearly €1,000 worth of wine from a celebrity chef’s Dublin restaurant have been spared jail.

Glen Ward (30) and Eric O’Driscoll (21) were each given four month suspended sentences for handling 18 bottles of wines stolen from Marco Pierre White's restaurant in the south city centre.

Finding them guilty, Judge John Hughes suspended the sentences for two years on condition that they pay compensation to the owner.

The accused, both from Finglas, had denied the charges.

Dublin District Court heard 18 bottles of wine worth a total of €954 were stolen from the restaurant on Dawson Street on June 14, 2022.

CCTV footage showing both accused among a group of men outside the premises on the day was played to the court.

It was the prosecution's belief that the brothers were assisting the commission of the offence.

Eric O'Driscoll

“In my observation, they were staying as lookouts for the duration of the offence,” a garda said of the CCTV.

The accused’s barrister said “these individuals” were viewed on the video but there was no audio on the footage and no evidence of any “direction or control by the individuals or management of what was going on.”

His clients were there and observed what was going on but walked away, he said.

“There’s no evidence they had any dealings with this whatsoever,” the barrister said.

He also argued that the prosecution had not proven lack of consent by the owner.

Judge Hughes said he took account of the argument that neither accused entered the property or touched or had possession of the wine.

However, he said the court could take account of the surrounding circumstances to conclude that they had possession and that there was no consent.

O’Driscoll had no prior convictions. He was not working as he found himself in personal difficulty and a “restricted” position, his barrister said. Ward had a “history” but had not come to garda attention in recent times, the barrister said.

He had been working as a BMW mechanic but lost that job due to personal circumstances and was now more focused on his family.

Both accused were unemployed and did not get any social welfare but were being assisted by family and friends. They were now out of the region where they ordinarily lived.

“There are victims,” the judge said. “This is a business like any other.”

Under conditions of the suspended sentences, the brothers must pay compensation and complete an education course with a view to re-entering employment.

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