Man to decide plea over theft from Ukrainian refugee couple

A man accused of ransacking a car belonging to Ukrainian refugees, who fled to Dublin after escaping the invasion of their homeland, has a month to decide how he will plead
Man to decide plea over theft from Ukrainian refugee couple

Tom Tuite

A man accused of ransacking a car belonging to Ukrainian refugees, who fled to Dublin after escaping the invasion of their homeland, has a month to decide how he will plead.

Last month gardaí charged Christopher Johnson, 45, with stealing clothes and other personal possessions from a car belonging to the couple while it was parked at a hotel. He is also accused of theft from a second vehicle.

The total value of the property stolen was about €3,000, Dublin District Court heard yesterday.

Mr Johnson, of The Botanic, Prospect Hill, Finglas, is charged with theft of their belongings, including clothes, a guitar and a laptop, as well as criminal damage to the car, on March 24th in the underground car park at the Travel Lodge Hotel, Shangan Road, Ballymun.

Yesterday, he appeared before Judge Treasa Kelly, who accepted jurisdiction for the case to be dealt with at district court level. An outline of the evidence was given in court.

Judge Kelly was told Mr Johnson admitted the offence to gardaí and told them he was “taking a large amount of medication”.

Mr Johnson apologised to the judge for turning up late to court and was ordered to appear again on June 14th to enter a plea. Defence solicitor John Feaheny was granted an order for disclosure of evidence, including CCTV footage.

The Ukrainian couple Anass and Olena, both 28, left war-ravaged Kyiv as the Russian invasion began on February 24th, and they motored across the continent to reach Dublin.

A GoFundMe page has raised thousands to help the couple since they lost their possession two weeks after arriving in Dublin.

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