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Toy thief Judge tells father who shoplifted toys he could sell his car and buy a 'cheaper one'

Patrick Stokes (23) was driving a 181-registered car at the time he took the nine toys worth €240 from a supermarket

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Patrick Stokes took nine toys worth €240 from Tesco in Artane

Patrick Stokes took nine toys worth €240 from Tesco in Artane

Patrick Stokes took nine toys worth €240 from Tesco in Artane

A father-of-two who shoplifted children's toys because he did not have the money to buy them has been told by a judge he could sell his car and buy a cheaper one.

Patrick Stokes (23) was driving a 181-registered car at the time he took the nine toys worth €240 from a supermarket, a court heard. Judge Bryan Smyth fined him €250.

Stokes, with an address at The Hermitage, Malahide Road, Balgriffin, Dublin, pleaded guilty to theft on October 26 this year.

Dublin District Court heard the accused went to Tesco, Artane Castle Shopping Centre after 4pm on the day in question and stole children's toys.

Gardaí later identified a vehicle on CCTV footage and spoke to the accused, who was the registered owner.

He admitted the theft and signed the garda's notebook.

A total of nine toys were taken. Six were retrieved but three were not.

Stokes, a member of the Travelling community, had two young children, his solicitor Peter Connolly said.

He was unemployed and got money from a personal injury claim two years ago, but that was "long since spent".

Applying for free legal aid, Mr Connolly said Stokes could not fund his defence and the car was his only asset.

Judge Smyth granted legal aid but said Stokes did not necessarily need to be driving a 181 car, it was "probably worth some money," and he could always sell it and buy a cheaper one.

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He fined the accused and gave him six months to pay.

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