'tall tale' | 

Shoplifter took clothes to ‘try on in car’ as he was afraid of changing room Covid risk

Paul Mulvin (57) was caught with hundreds of euro worth of stolen clothes
Liffey Valley shopping centre

Liffey Valley shopping centre

Andrew PhelanIndependent.ie

A shoplifter caught with hundreds of euro worth of stolen clothes claimed he was anxious about using store fitting rooms during Covid and took them to change in his car.

Paul Mulvin was fined €200 after a judge said he had told a “tall tale indeed”.

Mulvin (57), a father-of-one of Hillview, Ballinderry, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, admitted theft, possession of stolen property, having a blade and causing criminal damage.

Garda Sergeant Maria Callaghan told Blanchardstown District Court, gardaí were called to the Tommy Hilfiger shop in Liffey Valley Shopping Centre on June 15 at 3.25pm.

It was reported a man with a knife was trying to remove security tags from clothing.

Mulvin was stopped and searched, and a green-handled Stanley blade was found in his trouser pocket.

He was arrested and in a further search, gardaí found stolen tester perfumes and clothes worth €87 from Jack & Jones and perfume valued at €157 from Boots.

Mulvin’s car was then searched and gardaí found clothing and food worth €687 from Marks & Spencer, also in Liffey Valley.

When charged, he replied: “I paid for the food items.”

He had no previous convictions.

Mulvin had driven from Mullingar to Liffey Valley to buy clothing but did not want to go into the changing rooms “due to Covid” and decided to bring the items out to change in his car, his solicitor said.

In relation to the items taken in Boots, it was a “moment of madness”, his solicitor said.

The knife was a “tiny little blade” attached to Mulvin’s car keys and he used it to cut boxes for his mother, the court heard.

The accused, who was separated, suffered from depression and anxiety. His lawyer asked Judge David McHugh to leave the accused without a criminal record,

“There’s not a hope of me leaving him without convictions,” Judge McHugh said.

“One would wonder at his age with no previous convictions why he sought to do this.”

The judge said he had been asked to consider that Mulvin was anxious on the day.

“It’s a tall tale indeed,” he said, describing what happened as “premeditated and repeated”.

He imposed the fine on the criminal damage charge and took the others into consideration.

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