Judge Brian O'Shea
A man was sentenced at Naas District Court last Thursday, February 1 to prison for possession of €4,500 worth of stolen power tools.
James Stokes, 30, with an address listed as 49 Whitechurch Way, Ballyboden, Dublin 16 was charged with possession, at his home, of the stolen property on May 31, 2017.
The tools were recovered after a victim of theft spotted his own tools on DoneDeal. Gardai secured a search warrant and recovered the tools, including drills and jigsaws.
The court heard that Mr Stokes claimed to have bought them at a market in Balbriggan. “This is what he does,” his solicitor Timmy Kennelly told Judge Brian O’Shea, indicating that he bought and sold items of this nature
Mr Kennelly agreed with the judge that the defendant was certainly reckless as to the origin of the tools when he bought them for €1,500. “That’s the last time I’ll be going to a market,” Mr Kennelly said that his client had told him.
The defendant has no previous convictions for similar matters. He has convictions for driving while holding a mobile phone, for criminal damage and for engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour. In answer to a question from the solicitor, the prosecuting Garda said that the was “no evidence that he was involved in the original theft” of the items.
Judge O’Shea said that Mr Stokes was “an essential cog in the enterprise” of the trade of stolen power tools, a phenomenon that plagued rural communities throughout Ireland.
The Judge said he believed that Mr Stoke’s act was in the “middle to higher range” of offences of this nature and sentenced him to four months in prison.
“Would you consider suspending that sentence?” Mr Kennelly asked.
“I have considered it,” Judge O’Shea replied.