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Louth man who stole €3,350 ring from jewellers on Christmas Eve is jailed

When challenged to return the valuable ring, Mark Kavanagh (40) handed over a fake instead

Fields in Laurence Shopping Centre

Drogheda Independent

When challenged to return a valuable ring he took from a town centre jeweller a 40-year-old man handed over a fake instead, the district court has heard.

Mark Kavanagh, Rathmullan Park, Drogheda, pleaded guilty to stealing a Northern Star signature diamond 18ct white gold ring, valued €3,350, at Fields, Laurence Shopping Centre, on Christmas Eve, 2021.

The real ring was subsequently found on him at the garda station, and it was stated on Mr Kavanagh’s behalf that he stole it to try to salvage a relationship.

Sgt John O’Hehir presented evidence that the theft was reported at 12.03pm on 24 December 2021.

The defendant asked to look at the ring which he then put in his pocket. When asked for it back he produced a fake ring.

Separately, Mr Kavanagh admitted the theft of a €95 bottle of after shave at Grove Pharmacy, Ballsgrove, on 17 December 2021. The property, which had been on a stand near the exit, was not recovered.

He was known to staff in each premises.

There were 50 previous convictions.

Solicitor Paul Moore said his client had a very poor record.

He suffered with an addiction to illicit substances but had been doing well. In March 2021 his mother passed away and a relationship he was in broke down.

The incident at Fields was an ill-advised attempt to salvage that relationship.

The defendant was drinking and taking drugs at the time and had little recollection of it.

Mr Kavanagh was no longer on drink or drugs. He was sole carer for an uncle and recently got a job though he was not working at the moment. He was on crutches having fallen from a roof when assisting a neighbour to clear gutters.

Mr Moore continued that his client was seeking time to pay compensation.

Judge McKiernan said that having regard to the circumstances and the previous convictions, nothing was appropriate other than a custodial sentence.

Two consecutive two-month jail terms were handed down.

Bail to appeal was set at a personal bond of €300 with a €500 independent surety, cash to be lodged.

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