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Man (24) who stole petrol worth €45 from a filling station given two months prison term

William O’Donnell spoke to staff and agreed to return but failed to do so.

Petrol station. Library photo

Fiona MagennisFingal Independent

A 24-year-old man who told staff at a filling station he had an issue with his bank card and would come back to pay for fuel but never did has been sentenced to two months in prison.

William O’Donnell spoke to staff at two separate garages on different dates and told them he would return to pay for petrol but never came back, Balbriggan District Court heard.

The defendant, of Broadmeadow Castle, Ashbourne, pleaded guilty to theft at Applegreen Garage, North Street, Swords and at Circle K, Dublin Road.

The court presenter said O’Donnell drove into the Circle K garage on July 21, 2020 and put €45.54 worth of fuel into his car.

He entered the store and spoke to a member of staff telling them there was an issue with his card and he would come back to pay later but he never returned.

On February 24, the following year he put petrol to the value of €62.15 into his vehicle.

Again, the accused entered the shop and made an agreement with staff to return to pay but never did, the court presenter said.

O’Donnell has 68 previous convictions, including 46 relating to theft and fraud, and is currently serving a sentence with a release date of December 2025.

Both of these matters predate the headline offence for which he is currently serving a sentence, the court heard.

Defence barrister Deirdre Flannery said in both instances it wasn’t simply a drive off, he did speak to staff and agreed to return, although he failed to do so.

She said O’Donnell made no attempt to conceal his identity.

The defendant is an early school leaver who married young and his period of incarceration has given him to opportunity to go back to school she said, adding he is making the most of his time in custody and has a job lined up upon his release.

She asked the court not to extend his current time in custody.

Judge John Brennan said O’Donnell is a young man serving a substantial sentence.

The district court judge then imposed a two month prison sentence on the defendant, to run concurrent to his present term in custody.

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