A man who was before Athy District Court on Tuesday, July 24, for the theft of a power tool was sent to jail for nine months.
Patrick McLoughlin, with an address listed as 20 Rossvale, Mountmellick Rd, Portlaoise, hired a welder for the day from Athy Plant Hire in Woodstock St but failed to return it on December 22, 2017. The welder had an estimated value of €200.
The court heard that the defendant had a €15,000 drug debt and in order to pay it off he was put under pressure to hire the tools and not return them.
His solicitor Jackie McManus said that he managed to pay off most of the debt with the help of family and friends but that interest accumulated and he was unable to pay.
She told the court that her client was subjected to torture recently when he was stripped naked and tortured in a field .
He got into drugs after a sad episode in his life and admits that he is the author of his own misfortune.
She added that he is back working now and wants to make recompense to the business in question for the tool stolen which was worth €200 and never recovered.
Judge Desmond Zaidan said that it was a bit late for that.
“I appreciate the gesture but it is a bit late now and if he was serious about paying it back he should have done it by now,” said Judge Zaidan.
He sentenced him to nine months in prison.