Cork judge: Shoplifting making business in Cork city centre ‘impossible’

He made the comments as he imposed a jail term of eight months on a man in respect of nine counts of stealing alcohol from supermarkets around the city.
Cork judge: Shoplifting making business in Cork city centre ‘impossible’

A District Court judge said it would be impossible for shop owners to conduct business if the courts did not recognise the amount of shoplifting going on in Cork City.

A District Court judge said it would be impossible for shop owners to conduct business if the courts did not recognise the amount of shoplifting going on in Cork City.

Judge Olann Kelleher imposed a total jail term of eight months on 47-year-old Stephen McNamara at Cork District Court in respect of nine counts of stealing alcohol from supermarkets around the city.

McNamara pleaded guilty to nine counts of stealing alcohol — all in recent months.

Sergeant Pat Lyons said McNamara had 139 previous convictions; 18 of those were for theft and 19 were for burglary.

Frank Buttimer, defending, said: “Every time he commits offences he apologises.”

Judge Kelleher said: “He has a huge amount of convictions in these matters and he pleads guilty to nine thefts now.

“It is impossible for people to operate business in the city if courts do not recognise the amount of shoplifting going on.”

The fresh charges were in respect of thefts committed from July up to last month at various stores. For instance, he stole a bottle of alcohol valued at €21 at Aldi on Eglantine S on August 24.

He turned up at the Aldi in Mayfield on four occasions in May, stealing alcohol every time.

On one occasion he stole €132 worth of drink and returned the following day and stole €67 worth of alcohol.

McNamara also committed similar thefts at Dunnes Stores on Patrick St and at SuperValu in Merchant’s Quay Shopping Centre.

As well as the thefts, McNamara admitted public order offences committed at Paul St and Crane Lane. In one incident at Washington St he staggered out on to the middle of the road in a drunken condition and shouted expletives at members of the public.

Mr Buttimer said McNamara had been living between Cork Simon Community and periods in a tent on the street.

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