Shoplifter to pay €300 to charity to avoid conviction

Shoplifter to pay €300 to charity to avoid conviction

A SHOPLIFTER who stole over €250 worth of groceries from a Lidl in Tallaght after he lost his job and whose partner left him on the same day will have to pay €300 to charity to avoid a conviction.

Tallaght District Court was told that Laurentiu Stefan had drunk a number of shots before the incident. Stefan, aged 32, with an address at Nth Great Charles Street. Dublin 1, pleaded guilty to stealing groceries worth €262.31 from Lidl, Main Street, Tallaght, on October 12, 2017.

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Sergeant Michael Ahern told Judge Patricia McNamara that just after 6pm on October 12 last, Stefan entered Lidl and filled a trolley with groceries and left without paying for them. He said Stefan was followed into the car park by security. On seeing the security, Stefan ran away and hid in a nearby building, but was caught. Sgt Ahern said Stefan was drunk.

Sgt Ahern said Stefan had no previous convictions.

Stefan’s solicitor, Padraig O’Donovan, said his client had “the worst day of his life” before the incident. He said Stefan had lost his job and his partner left him. Mr O’Donovan said Stefan had drunk a number of shots.

Judge McNamara wondered why Stefan needed to go shoplifting after getting drunk.

She said she would apply the Probation Act if Stefan pays €300 to the Tallaght Childrens Hospital.

Mr O’Donovan said that would still leave his client with a conviction, because if the gardai ever check Stefan’s record they will see that he received Section 1.1 of the Probation Act for theft.

Judge McNamara told Mr O’Donovan: “That is not a conviction in law. My remit is here and I’m not recording a conviction. Perhaps you need to bring up the issue with the gardai or the superintendent.”

She remanded Stefan on continuing bail for two weeks for payment of the donation