A 44-year-old man who was never in any trouble before went behind the counter of a shop, lifted the cash register and walked out of the premises with it in a hold-all bag.
Ivor Runtig of Middle Glanmire Road, Cork, faced sentencing at Cork District Court where Detective Garda John Gleeson said the incident occurred at McSweeney’s shop on Gardiner’s Hill, Cork, on August 17 2021.
The unusual incident involving the 44-year-old man who had no previous convictions of any kind saw him arrive in the shop at 3.40 p.m. and chat to the woman in her early twenties who was working alone behind the counter. She found the nature of the conversation a little unusual.
“Then Mr Runtig walked behind the counter towards the till. He removed the till and placed it in a hold-all bag. He did not make any threat to her. He left the shop carrying the till in the bag,” Det. Garda Gleeson said. The older style till had a value of €300.
Eddie Burke, defence solicitor, said the defendant made full admissions to the offence and had no previous convictions.
Judge Marian O’Leary said, “It was a frightening experience for the shop assistant.” Mr Burke accepted that and said that since it happened in August last year the accused had successfully undertaken a rehabilitation programme to deal with his drinking and went directly into fulltime employment afterwards.
Mr Burke said the accused was clear of alcohol since a date in September 2021 and that the defendant could tell him the number of days since he got clear of drink, such is his focus.
“Around the time of this offence his relationship broke up and he didn’t know how to handle it,” Mr Burke said.
The defendant acknowledged that it would not have been a nice experience for the young woman in the shop.
He was prosecuted for trespass and theft and pleaded guilty to both counts. In light of the complete absence of previous convictions or any trouble since, the judge said she would strike out the charges on the defendant paying €400 to the court poor-box and doing three hours a week of voluntary work in the community for a period of 12 weeks.