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guilty plea Shoplifter hid loot in cornflakes box lined with tin foil


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Lee Hennessy of Leinster Street, Dublin 7.

Lee Hennessy of Leinster Street, Dublin 7.

Lee Hennessy of Leinster Street, Dublin 7.

A SHOPLIFTER caught using an empty cornflakes box lined with tin foil to try to beat store security sensors had lost his job and home and become a heroin addict in the space of two years.

Taxi driver and father-of-four Lee Hennessy (47) ran from gardaí when approached and was found with stolen goods in the modified cereal box.

Judge Bryan Smyth fined him €200 when he appeared in Dublin District Court.

Hennessy, of Leinster Street, Dublin 7 pleaded guilty to stealing and possession of a tin-foil-lined cornflakes box for use in the course of a theft.

Dublin District Court heard the incident happened at Dunnes Stores in the Ilac Centre on January 30 this year.

Gardaí were called at 4.20pm and told that a shoplifter was being followed by security.

When gardaí approached, Hennessy dropped a plastic Spar bag and ran. He was caught nearby and arrested.

Hennessy had stolen food items worth €78.

They were concealed in a cornflakes box lined with tin foil in the bag, Garda Sergeant Michelle Lynch said.

All the goods were recovered in a saleable condition.

Hennessy had separated from his wife after many years of marriage and found himself having to leave the family home and live in his car, his solicitor Yvonne Bambury said.

After 12 months, he became a heroin addict. He built up debts as a result of that and "this was suggested to him" as a way of paying, Ms Bambury told the court.

The accused had worked all his life as a taxi driver but was not able to pay the cost of his licence and lost his right to work, the court heard.

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Hennessy had had a very troubled couple of years, going from being a married man with a grown-up family and a job to being a homeless person with a heroin addiction, Ms Bambury said.

He was now on a methadone programme. Judge Smyth fined the accused €100 on each charge.

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