Man caught with €80,000 worth of jewellery is jailed

Man caught with €80,000 worth of jewellery is jailed

By Sonya McLean

A man who was caught with €80,000 worth of stolen jewellery after his accomplice tried to sell it to a cash for gold shop has been jailed for two years.

Michael Maughan (24) of Hazel Hill, Tallaght, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to handling assorted stolen jewellery on January 21, 2018.

Cash For Gold 04

Gardai had a surveillance operation in place outside The Cash for Gold Shop on Main Street, Tallaght

His 40 previous convictions include trespass, theft, criminal damage, road traffic offences and failure to appear at court hearings.

Judge Melanie Greally said that aside from the monetary value of the stolen items, the jewellery was of “very considerable” sentimental value and included several inherited pieces and items that were going to be handed down to future generations.

She imposed a four year sentence with the final two suspended.

Garda Redmond O’Leary told Dara Hayes BL, prosecuting that gardaí had a surveillance operation in place outside Gold Digger Jewellers in Tallaght when a Volkswagen Golf pulled up and a woman got out carrying two bags.

The driver, Maughan, drove on to park the vehicle, when gardai stopped the woman and discovered the bags contained the jewellery.

Gda O’Leary said Maughan was arrested following a brief struggle and taken to Tallaght Garda Station for questioning but he made no admissions.

The gold jewellery, which had been stolen in a burglary in Lucan three days earlier, weighed a kilogramme and was valued at €80,000.

Gda O’Leary said 48 adult bracelets and bangles, three baby bracelets, rings, cuff links and earrings were stolen, some of which held precious stones.

Many of the items had sentimental value, with some pieces having been handed down from generation to generation in the victim’s family.

There were also some items that the victim had been given by her grandfather to give to her own children on their 21st birthdays. The court heard although the jewellery was returned to the victim, some items had been permanently damaged.

Gda O’Leary said CCTV footage from Gold Digger Jewellery showed a woman calling to the shop, the day previous to Maughan’s arrest, enquiring as to how much they would pay for gold.

He agreed with Shaun Smyth BL, defending, that the owner of the shop said he would not have had the cash on the premises to pay for that amount of gold.

Maughan apologised to the victim through his counsel and acknowledged the huge monetary as well as sentimental value of the jewellery.

Mr Smyth said his client had a longstanding addiction to cocaine and benzodiazepines since the age of 16, at one point spending up to €300 a week on illicit substances.

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