A LICENCE to steal was being granted to a convicted shoplifter because he was not getting jail sentences for his offences, a district court judge said.
Zouhair Maagli of 305 Deerpark House, Friars Road, Cork, pleaded guilty to carrying out his latest theft at Eason’s on Patrick’s Street, Cork, in January.
Inspector Ronan Kennelly said the accused man had 21 previous convictions, four were for theft.
Judge O’Leary asked if the defendant had ever received a prison sentence, which he had not.
Judge O’Leary asked: “He has four theft convictions. Why would he not go back and do it again if I deal with him leniently — it is a licence to steal.”
Defence solicitor Pat Horan said the defendant appeared to have a better structure in his life.
Judge O’Leary said: “I cannot see why he would stop stealing when he is dealt with leniently. I will indulge him further but it is certainly a licence to steal.”
The judge convicted and fined him €100.
Insp Kennelly said that shortly before 4pm on January 8, 2019, at Eason’s on Patrick’s Street, Garda Michael Walsh attended at an alleged theft where a man selected a Driver Theory Test DVD, placed it in a carrier bag he was carrying and then left the store without making payment.
He was located by a security officer and returned to the store where the item valued €22 was in a saleable condition. Mr Maagli made full admissions.
Mr Horan said the 52-year-old Moroccan had been in Ireland for 30 years and recently visited his mother in Casablanca but returned to Cork to face this theft charge.
“There is no earthly reason why he stole this,” Mr Horan said. He said the defendant had experienced suicidal ideation and was a victim of a stabbing in the past.