A homeless man staying in a tent at the Lee Fields in Cork said today his tent was set on fire and he sustained some burns a few days ago.
Stephen McNamara, 44, said that as well as this arson attack he was also the victim of another attack — again occurring only in the past few days.
“I got a bad beating,” McNamara said during a hearing at Cork District Court today.
McNamara was before the court on multiple counts of shoplifting today. His solicitor, Frank Buttimer, said the accused had a particularly bad time recently and was not in good shape.
Judge Olann Kelleher said he was concerned about the defendant’s welfare. Rather than finalising the cases before the court the judge said he was anxious that the homeless man would get the support of services, including the probation service. He remanded the accused on bail for him to liaise with the probation service.
McNamara told the judge, “I stay in the Simon’s. I haven’t got a permanent bed. It is a night light bed — in at 11, out for 7.” He said he had the tent as a place to stay between 7am and 11pm.
“But someone burned it to the ground. I got some burns as well. And I got a bad beating the other day,” McNamara said.
Judge Kelleher said as he adjourned it for a fortnight, “I want to make sure you are not alone and that you get some help.”
McNamara faces charges of stealing an umbrella at Penney’s on Patrick Street, Cork, on October 11 2019, shoplifting of €326 worth of razors, alcohol, and batteries at Tesco in Wilton on November 12 2019, and stealing €265 worth of razors, electric toothbrush, pillows, Yops, and cheesecake on November 11 2019 at Tesco on Paul Street.
So far this month he is charged that on January 28 he stole clothing from Dunnes on Patrick Street, valued €138, stole a knife at TK Maxx on Cornmarket Street on January 18 and a €180 tent at the same shop on the same day.