71-year-old homeless man jailed for stealing a knife to 'peel a few potatoes'

71-year-old homeless man jailed for stealing a knife to 'peel a few potatoes'

A 71-year-old homeless man stole a steak knife and was jailed for 4 months. Stock image.

A 71-year-old homeless man stole a steak knife “to peel a few potatoes and do a bit of tinsmithing” and today he was jailed for four months.

Patrick McCann entered Uncle Pete’s on Paul Street and removed a steak knife from a customer’s table in the restaurant.

Sergeant Gearóid Davis said that the accused man was observed acting suspiciously by a member of staff.

The 71-year-old from Kildare left the restaurant with the knife up the sleeve of his coat.

The member of staff followed him and alerted gardaí. 

Garda Niall Duggan arrived at the scene and searched the accused. The knife was found in his possession.

He pleaded guilty to theft and carrying the knife, contrary to the Offensive Weapons Act.

Frank Buttimer, solicitor, said the accused was between hostels and living on the streets and sometimes lived in tents. He said the 71-year-old opportunistically stole the knife with a view to using it for some repair on a tent.

Sgt Davis said McCann had 357 previous convictions. Four of them were for carrying knives.

Judge Kelleher asked McCann if he wanted to say anything in advance of sentencing. McCann told the judge of injuries he was carrying including two fractured ribs. The defendant said that stealing the knife was stupid.

“I wanted it to peel a few potatoes and do a bit of tinsmithing,” he said.

The judge imposed a total sentence of four months on the accused.

McCann said: “Thank you very much, your honour. God bless you.”

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