Stole to pay off drug debt of partner’s son

By Brendan Grehan

A BALGADDY man who carried out a series of thefts in order to help his partner’s son pay a drug debt was jailed for 18 months by Blanchardstown District Court.

Paul Walsh is currently serving a four-year sentence for robbery from Dublin Circuit Court, Judge John Hughes said.

blanchardstown courthouse

Blanchardstown District Court

The case was before Judge Hughes for hearing.

Walsh’s solicitor, John O’Doherty, said his client was changing his plea to guilty.

Garda Niamh Guilfoyle from Ronanstown Garda Station said that at 1.35pm on May 7 last, Walsh entered Marks & Spencer in Liffey Valley and left without paying for duvets worth €149. Walsh was stopped outside the store and the items were recovered in a saleable condition, Garda Guilfoyle said. Walsh was arrested and taken to Ronanstown Garda Station.

On April 9 last, Walsh entered Next in Liffey Valley and stole children’s clothing worth €151. Garda Guilfoyle said the prosecuting garda later obtained CCTV footage from the manager of the store. Walsh was identified from the CCTV.

Garda Guilfoyle told Judge Hughes that on May 1 last, Walsh entered and B & Q in Liffey Valley Retail Park and left without paying for a chainsaw worth €229.

She said she later viewed CCTV which identified Walsh. The chainsaw was not recovered, the court heard.

Garda Guilfoyle said that on May 8 last, Walsh happened to be in Ronanstown Garda Station for a different matter and she arrested him.

She said Walsh had been “extremely compliant” in all his dealing with her.

Walsh, aged 43, with an address at Meile An Rí estate, Balgaddy, Lucan, pleaded guilty to stealing a chainsaw worth €226 from B & Q, Liffey Valley Retail Park, Clondalkin, on May 1, 2019.

He also pleaded guilty to stealing children’s clothing worth €151 from Next, Liffey Valley, Clondalkin, on April 9, 2019.

Walsh also pleaded guilty to stealing duvets worth €149 from Marks & Spencer, Liffey Valley, Clondalkin, on May 7, 2019.

Garda Guilfoyle said Walsh had 50 previous convictions. He is currently serving a four-year sentence for robbery with the last 18 months suspended from Dublin Circuit Court.

Mr O’Doherty said his client had a drug problem in the past but is now drug-free. He said Walsh is “trying to put his past behind him.”

Mr O’Doherty said Walsh’s partner’s son had a drug debt and he was trying to assist him by stealing the items.

Judge Hughes asked Garda Guilfoyle if she was aware of any threat in relation to the drug debt.

Garda Guilfoyle said she was not aware of any threat.

Judge Hughes noted that Walsh had a difficult background and that he had 50 previous convictions.

Walsh, he said, lives in the local area and had committed crimes against businesses in the local area who were staffed and owned by members of the local community.

He sentenced Walsh to six months jail for the first theft with a consecutive six-month sentence for the second theft and a consecutive six-month sentence for the third theft.

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