Man charged with three incidents of causing criminal damage to Cork premises 

Man charged with three incidents of causing criminal damage to Cork premises 

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A small lump-hammer was used to carry out three break-ins within one hour at premises in Cork city where extensive damage was caused.

Today, the man accused of carrying out the crimes claimed that he had a drugs debt and was threatened that he would be cut from ear to ear if he did not repay it.

Garda Brian Barron arrested and charged Leigh O’Keeffe with carrying out three incidents of causing criminal damage to premises.

The investigating guard testified that O’Keeffe, 27, was arrested at the scene of one of the incidents of criminal damage, namely Minihan’s Pharmacy on Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork, in the early hours of Thursday, September 10.

It was estimated that the amount of the damage caused to that premises was €3,500.

Damage was also caused to the Gala store on MacCurtain Street and the post office on MacCurtain Street but there was no estimate before the court today of the amount of damage caused to those premises.

The fourth charge against O’Keeffe, of Cork Simon Community, was of causing criminal damage to a car parked at Parnell Place.

Leigh O’Keeffe told Judge Olann Kelleher that if granted bail he would stay out of trouble and he would repay the damage that was caused.

He said he owed €400 for drugs but was told that this debt now stood at €1,000 and that he would be cut from ear to ear if he did not pay it.

The defendant said to his solicitor, Diane Hallahan, that he did not think he needed treatment for heroin.

“When I was on the street I was on six or seven bags a day but now it is one bag a week,” the defendant said.

Sergeant John Kelleher asked the defendant why he did not go to the gardaí to complain that he was being threatened in relation to a drugs debt. O’Keeffe replied, “That is going to cause more trouble. I was in fear, that’s why.” 

Judge Olann Kelleher refused O’Keeffe’s bail application and remanded him in custody until September 16 at Cork District Court.

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