ONE golf club reopening today post Covid-19 restrictions had to manage without three of its electric golf buggies that were stolen for a spin and never returned.
Sergeant John Kelleher said five of the electric golf buggies were stolen from Cork Golf Club at Little Island, County Cork, and two were later found in an overgrown area of a nearby halting site. Three of the stolen vehicles were never recovered by the club.
24-year-old Mark Foley pleaded guilty to stealing five golf buggies from the club at Little Island.
Judge Olann Kelleher sentenced him to eight months in prison.
Defence solicitor, Joseph Cuddigan, said Mark Foley of 47 Courtyard, Castleredmond, Midleton, County Cork, and others not before the court, had taken the buggies for a spin. He said that because they were electric they ran out of power and were then abandoned and another buggy taken.
Mr Cuddigan said that there was no prospect of the defendant being able to pay for the loss to the golf club. He said that the defendant had pleaded guilty in early course to his part in the offences.
He said the young man had a somewhat tragic background and had fallen under the influence of others.
“My client effectively went for a spin on a buggy and when the electricity ran out he returned to the golf club to get another buggy. He was staying at the halting site nearby at the time. He did not gain from this enterprise,” Mr Cuddigan said.
Judge Olann Kelleher said he would take all of that into consideration but he also had to look at the fact that Foley had 31 previous theft convictions.
“This was his 32nd theft conviction which is incredible really for a man his age,” the judge remarked as he imposed an eight-month sentence on the accused.
The judge agreed to backdate the sentence to March 28 as the accused had been in custody since then.
At an earlier hear it had to be clarified in relation to the value of each golf buggy. The initial valuation of €5,000 for each buggy would have put the case beyond the jurisdiction of the district court, as it would have referred to a total value of €20,000 worth of stolen property.
It was then clarified that the value of each buggy was €600 and further clarified that two of them were recovered.
The charge to which Foley pleaded guilty was states that at the golf club in Little Island he stole five golf buggies.