TWO Lithuanians in a stolen boat rowed with a shovel and a plank of timber to Kinsale marina where they used a pound-shop hacksaw to steal outboard engines.
They were both jailed today – one for six months and the other for nine months.
They had been remanded in custody last week for sentencing and one of their lawyers, Shane O’Callaghan, described the past week in prison as a harrowing and frightening experience.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said at Cork Circuit Criminal Court, “This was quite a serious matter. They are very difficult crimes to detect and they cause significant worry in the community. And it was deliberate, not particularly well-planned but organised.
"I do think custodial sentences are merited. Otherwise, there is no element of deterrence and I think there has to be some element of deterrence.”
Sergeant Kevin Heffernan said that the duo drove from Mallow at 6pm on February 8 in a Renault Berlingo van and parked it in a secluded residential spot by a cove at Scilly in Kinsale.
“They took a small punt and used a shovel and a plank of timber to row a distance of about 50 metres to where about 200 boats were tied up. They entered some of these boats and stole from some of the boats,” Sgt. Heffernan said.
They stole outboard engines valued €800, €500 and €300. While on the marina they stole a dinghy with a large powerful 50 horsepower engine and rowed it back to the cove at Scilly.
However, a woman out walking became suspicious of the activities of the two men, which went on for a couple of hours and she alerted gardaí.
As soon as the two men realised they had been seen they fled the scene leaving the stolen engines and the dinghy on the small beach where gardaí recovered them and returned them to the owners.
Extensive CCTV evidence resulted in gardaí linking the crimes to the duo and arresting them a fortnight later in Mallow.
Cables and fuel lines to the large engine on the dinghy had been cut and it cost Kinsale yacht club €800 to repair it. Each defendant brought €500 compensation to court to cover this damage.
Giedrius Lukosius, 33, of Bellview Court, Mallow, who drove the van and had traffic convictions in the past was sentenced to 18 months with the last nine months suspended and he was banned from driving for two years for using his vehicle in the commission of a crime.
Giedrius Stoncius, aged 30, of Bellview Court, was sentenced to 12 months with the last six months suspended for his part in the crime.
Emmet Boyle, barrister, said it was not a particularly well-planned crime and said the type of hacksaw used was the kind one might buy in a pound shop.
Mr Boyle BL and Mr O’Callaghan BL said the two men were working fulltime and they did not actually get away with any property.
Also, neither one of the accused had any previous criminal convictions, apart from Lukosius’s convictions for driving offences.
The charges of theft and related counts occurred at the Marina, Pier Road, Kinsale, County Cork, on February 8.