Four months for Tallaght man who damaged off-licence door and stole bottle of Buckfast

By Brendan Grehan

SMASHING an off-licence door and stealing a bottle of Buckfast landed a man with four months in jail. Gareth O’Neill also committed a number of public order offences.

O’Neill, aged 33, with an address at St Aongus Lawns, Tallaght, pleaded guilty to damaging a glass door, breaching the peace and stealing a bottle of Buckfast tonic wine worth €7.99 from Molloys Off-Licence, Village Green, Tallaght, on September 6, 2017.

Tallaght court close up

He also pleaded guilty to breaching the peace and failing to comply with a garda’s directions at Level 3, The Square, Tallaght, on September 17, 2016.

He also pleaded guilty to breaching the peace and failing to comply with a garda’s directions at The Priory, Tallaght village, on September 18, 2016.

Sergeant Michael Ahern told Judge Patricia McNamara that at 12.30pm on September 18 last, the gardai were called to the Priory. He said it was a Sunday morning and people were coming out of Mass.

Sgt Ahern said the gardai received a call that three males were sitting on the church steps drinking.

He said O’Neill was one of the three and was being abusive to members of the public. He was directed to leave the area, failed to do so and was arrested.

Sgt Ahern said that at 4am on September 17, 2016, the gardai were called to the Level 3 car park in the Square where O’Neill was sitting on the ground. He was directed to leave the area and started to be abusive towards the gardai and was arrested.

Sgt Ahern added that on September 6 last, O’Neill entered Molloys Off-Licence in Tallaght and put a bottle of Buckfast in his jacket.

O’Neill then attempted to leave without paying for the bottle and was confronted by a member of staff who attempted to get the bottle back. Sgt Ahern said O’Neill pushed the member of staff and broke the glass front door of the shop. He said the damage came to €250.

The court heard that O’Neill has 22 previous convictions.

O’Neill’s solicitor, Kevin Tunney, said his client has a drink problem and is now attending AA.

Judge McNamara told O’Neill: “Your behaviour cannot be condoned. You don’t seem to be doing anything to rectify the situation. You have been involved with the Probation Service for the last nine years”.

She sentenced O’Neill to six months jail with the last two months suspended for 18 months for the theft and criminal damage charges. She also sentenced him to two months jail for the breach of the peace in Molloys.

The remaining charges were taken into consideration and both sentences are to run concurrently.

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