Kildare man with 180 convictions was sent out to steal as a child

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Kildare man with 180 convictions was sent out to steal as a child

The case was heard in Naas

A man found in charge of a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant and a drug appeared before Naas District Court via video link on February 3.

He said he was sent out to steal as a child.

Thomas Stokes, 30, whose address was given as 22 Fairfield, Athy, was prosecuted for offences at the car park at Friary Road, Naas, on March 19, 2019.

Sgt Jim Kelly recalled that a male was found asleep in the vehicle. The lights were on, he had his seat belt on and the engine was running.

The court heard that he has 180 previous convictions and is currently serving a four and a half year term for endangerment.

Sgt Kelly said that at this time the defendant was serving a driving disqualification.

He added his “litany of convictions” go back to 2004.

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Defending barrister Aisling Murphy said the defendant’s problem was drugs and he had been in custody for two years.

She added he is doing well and is drug free.

Ms Murphy said that the defendant has “enhanced prisoner” status, which provides for a differentiation of privileges between prisoners according to their level of engagement with services and quality of behaviour. The objective is to provide incentives to prisoners to participate in structured activities and to reinforce good behaviour, leading to a safer and more secure environment.

The defendant has three children in County Kildare and he was visiting them.

The court also heard that he took the vehicle without the consent of this wife and that he works as a cleaner in custody.

He hopes to be free of all drugs and “he seems to have been making efforts to turn his life around”, said Mr Murphy.

The defendant told the court he was “brought up to a life of crime” , was “sent out to rob and steal” and “found it hard to break the cycle.” He added he is ashamed of his previous convictions.

He added he feels he is ready to put it behind him.

Judge Desmond Zaidan said: “I believe what you told me, I wish I didn’t, it’s tragic.”

He told the defendant he should use his children as an incentive not to let history repeat itself. “Your children need you.”

Referring to his status, Judge Zaidan said this meant some trust has been placed in him and the authorities “see some good in you.”

He received a total of six months in custody and was disqualified from driving for twelve years.