A man caught begging on the streets of Cork three times in a two-day period last month had hundreds of euro in his pockets when searched by gardaí.
Timothy Murphy, who is aged around 40, had the following sums of cash on his person when searched - €769, €140 and €379.
Murphy of no fixed address had been convicted for begging on 14 occasions before he pleaded guilty to the latest three counts of begging today.
Sergeant Gearóid Davis outlined the background to the latest incidents.
Garda Vincent McCarthy encountered Timothy Murphy at Grand Parade, Cork, on February 3. He was actively begging at the time. He was arrested at the scene and during a routine search it was found that he had €769 in cash on him.
The following day he was stopped at lunchtime in Cork city by Garda Kevin Roche as he was actively begging in the city centre. On that occasion €379 was confiscated from him.
He was released from the garda station after his lunchtime arrest only to be re-arrested outside Centra on St. Patrick’s Street at 5pm the same day.
Garda Brendan Ryan found him approaching people on the street looking for money. He was searched and found to be carrying €140 in cash.
All three sums of cash that were seized from him – totalling €1,288 across the two days - were forfeited to the state by order of Judge John King who directed that it should be paid to Cork Penny Dinners.
Timothy Murphy was sentenced to a total of six weeks in prison – two weeks for each incident of begging.
The accused appeared at Cork District Court by video link from prison.
Judge King asked him if accepted the facts as outlined by the prosecution and he said he did.
Asked about the offences, Murphy said, “I am homeless, I have nowhere to stay. I am not well at the moment, trying to get help.”
The judge was told that the defendant had a history of not engaging with the probation service.
The judge asked, “What is that about?” The defendant replied. “I went over to the Mercy.” Judge King said, “You are not answering the question. You are doing everything but answering the question.”