THE lookout man for a burglary at a shop where thousands of euro worth of cigarettes were stolen repeatedly begged the other man to leave the premises.
That was how Stephen Kiely’s participation in the burglary of The Unity shop at Lower Glanmire Road, Cork, was described by his barrister Donal O’Sullivan at his sentencing.
“It was by good fortune there was audio on the CCTV and it is clear that my client was there through a sense of misplaced loyalty and he repeatedly says, ‘I am begging you, please, let’s go’.
“But the other man is adamant he intends to take stuff.
“And through a misplaced sense of loyalty, he stays there,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
The defence barrister submitted at Cork Circuit Criminal Court that the height of the defendant’s contribution to the burglary was that the other man asked him to look for a bag to put the stolen cigarettes into and he agreed to do so.
Detective Sergeant Kieran O’Sullivan said the two men could be seen on CCTV walking past the shop an hour after it closed for the day on the afternoon of April 10 2021.
“They are walking past the shop and the other man (not Stephen Kiely) pushes the sliding door and discovers they are not fully secure.
“Stephen Kiely stays just inside the door when the first man empties the till and the cigarette machine,” Det. Sgt. O’Sullivan said.
Cigarettes worth €3,223 were stolen. Some 40% of them were retrieved from the home of the man not before the court and they were in saleable condition. Some €635 in cash was stolen and it was never recovered.
Kiely spoke up from the dock during the evidence at the sentencing hearing and said, “I got nothing.”
Det Sgt O’Sullivan agreed that this was probably so.
The accused was living at St John’s Well, Fairhill, but now lives in Kanturk where he has disassociated from drugs and this lifestyle.
Donal O’Sullivan said on first appearance it looks like a serious crime but that Kiely’s participation was at the lowest end.
Judge Dara Hayes said he would adjourn sentencing until May 19 to allow time for a probation report.
The judge said: “It would have been much better if Mr Kiely walked on rather than walked back on the day.”
Cameras and a hard drive from the CCTV were taken — at a loss of €1,200 — but the recording was stored and downloaded from the cloud.