25 Jun 2022

'Get over yourself' judge tells defendant with 106 previous convictions

Defendant told to 'get over himself' by judge

A man who appeared at Tullamore District Court on theft charges last week was told to get over himself by Judge Miriam Walsh.

In his evidence Sgt James O’Sullivan said that on November 8, 2021, at Boots, Church Street, Tullamore, Stephen Bracken (26) 2, Belmont Court, Tullamore, stole cosmetics worth €538.

On November 9, 2021, he entered Tesco, Cloncollig, Tullamore, and stole three bottles of spirits, worth €112.

On November 10, 2021 he went into Aldi, Cloncollig and stole power tools worth €344. None of the goods had been recovered.

Sgt O’Sullivan said Mr Bracken had 106 previous convictions. 46 of those were for theft, the last one was on January 1, 2021, when he received 12 months probation.

Solicitor Donal Farrelly said the defendant was a former heroin addict who was now on a methadone programme. He was struggling at the time of the offences and had been in debt to drug dealers and that was the reason he had stolen the items.

Mr Farrelly told the judge that her colleagues had supported him. He was now with the Fr Peter McVerry Trust who were assisting him. He was also involved with the CADS programme. Mr Farrelly had letters which he said spoke highly of him.

He said Stephen Bracken had a very difficult background and childhood and the Peter McVerry Trust had helped him to get a house.

Judge Walsh said Boots and Tesco have lost a lot of money. She said that anyone going there will have to pay more for goods as a result of his theft. Commenting on his 106 previous convictions she said ''the mind boggles.''

Mr Farrelly reiterated to the judge about Mr Bracken’s difficult childhood, ''I don’t care,'' she said many people have hard lives and have never been in court. ''Get over yourself,'' she told the defendant.

Mr Farrelly said a sentence would set him back and stressed that Mr Bracken had a key worker from the Peter McVerry Trust helping him. He also added that he was anxious to pay back the money he owed.

Judge Walsh imposed a prison sentence of four months and suspended it for 12 months.

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