Man under pressure from drug dealers stole from tool hire outlets in Offaly

Offaly Express Reporter

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Man under pressure from drug dealers stole from tool hire outlets in Offaly

MORE than €3,000 is still owed by a man who hired power tools in Birr and Tullamore in 2017 and did not return them, Tullamore District Court was told.

The court previously heard that Patrick McLoughlin, 20 Rossvale, Portlaoise, was under pressure from drug dealers.
The 32-year-old pleaded guilty last year to stealing a power washer, a welder and a concrete saw, valued at €4,610 from Central Tool Hire, Syngefield, Birr on December 8, 2017.

He also admitted stealing another power washer and a second concrete saw, worth €1,430, from Hire Depot, Axis Business Park three days later on December 11.

Sentencing has been adjourned on a number of occasions so the man could pay compensation.

Defending solicitor Donal Farrelly told the court last week that over €3,000 remained outstanding and in addition to being out of work, his client had other matters coming before courts in Portlaoise and Kilkenny and he was also making payments in relation to those. Mr Farrelly said he had paid €2,600 towards the Offaly offences but was in trouble financially.

Sgt James O'Sullivan said a total of €3,340 was owed in relation to charges brought by two local gardai as a result of the offences in Tullamore and Birr.

Judge Bernadette Owens said a probation report before her indicated Mr McLoughlin was back in work in May and had been receiving the Covid-19 payment before that.

She remanded him on continuing bail to September 9 next and while she appreciated he owed monies elsewhere, she said he would have to start making inroads in relation to the compensation before her court.

A sitting of Tullamore District Court in September 2018 was told Mr McLoughlin paid a small deposit for the Birr tools and a €100 deposit for the Tullamore equipment.

Sgt O'Sullivan said at the time he believed the property had been handed on so the man could pay a moneylending debt arising from drugs.

The judge sitting in Tullamore on that day, Judge Catherine Staines, said the property involved was worth a huge amount and she believed the crime was premedidated.

However, she accepted Mr McLoughlin was under pressure from drug dealers and adjourned sentence.