Picture: Eddie O'Hare

A defence solicitor asked a judge to make allowance for the lack of visits for prisoners under protocols to safeguard against Coronavirus as sentence was imposed on a man for travelling in a stolen car.

Defence solicitor Donal Daly submitted that prison time was harder for prisoners now because of the absence of visitors.

Mr Daly also urged Judge Olann Kelleher to consider that, “With restrictions in prison they are left out of their cells for far shorter periods.

“I would ask you to take into consideration the changed circumstances in Cork Prison that make it far more difficult to be up there now.” Judge Olann Kelleher said, “I will take that into consideration but it his sixth time in a car without permission of the owner.” The judge then imposed a jail term of seven months on Niall Keegan of 17 Thomas Kent Park, The Glen, Cork, at Cork District Court.

Keegan, 23, pleaded guilty to a charge of travelling in a stolen car in June last year.

Garda Aidan Noonan said Keegan was identified in the course of the incident as the front seat passenger.

Garda Noonan testified that the car was stolen on June 3/4 2019 in the course of a burglary of a house in Cork city. It was later seen being driven at the Apple Green service station on North Ring Road, Cork, on June 6 where the defendant was in the front seat as a passenger.

The car was later found burnt out at The Glen, Cork.

Sergeant Gearóid Davis said the accused had five previous convictions for travelling in stolen cars as well as convictions for assault causing harm, burglary and carrying knives. Among Keegan’s 28 previous convictions there were also counts for dangerous driving, carrying stolen property and general public order offences.

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