Prison sentence for Kilkenny man convicted of stealing plant machinery

Final 12 months of two-year sentence suspended on certain conditions

Mary Cody


Mary Cody


Prison sentence for Kilkenny man  convicted of stealing plant machinery

A defendant who admitted stealing thousands of euro worth of machinery has been sentenced to two years in prison.
Jonathan Walsh, 4 Lord Edward Street admitted the offences which took place in Carlow in August of last year.
A mini digger, valued at €6,000 was stolen and has not been recovered. A second digger, valued at €9,000 was returned to its owners through the gardaí and a roller with a value of €6,000 was also recovered.
The defendant had rented all three pieces of machinery and had not returned them to their owners. The court heard that following the thefts ‘word spread quickly’ and gardaí obtained a warrant for the homeplace of Jonathan Walsh. The court heard that gardaí received a phone call from the defendant’s solicitor and he presented himself to gardaí on September 16 and he was subsequently arrested.
The court heard that the defendant has 24 previous convictions, including convictions for offences under the Road Traffic Act, the Misuse of Drugs Act, The Public Order Act and the Criminal Damage Act.
The defendant told the Probation Services that at the time of his offending behaviour ‘he was under pressure for debts’.
The court heard that in respect of all three misappropriations no violence was used. There was also loss incurred by both of the injured parties. The defendant had raised €1,000 to date in compensation and apologised to both the injured parties in court and said that he was ‘anxious to make full recompense’.
The defence barrister outlined to the court that his client is a 35-year-old ‘with a history of alcohol and cannabis misuse’.
According to the prosecution the loss of income and of the vehicles amounted to approximately €27,680.
Judge Brian O’Callaghan said that on August 13 the defendant had with criminal intent rented two mini diggers from Doyles Hire Properties with the intention of stealing them and under the pretence of renting them out. On August 25 the defendant carried out a similar activity under the pretence of a rental agreement stole a mini roller, the property of Denis O'’Shaughnessy. Mr O’Shaughnessy subsequently recovered his own vehicle through ‘his own piece of private detective work’.
“This was a pre-planned, intentional, considered, deliberate act of dishonesty and deceit. He entered into three rental agreements on the pretence that he would return them but he had no intention of so doing. His motive was greed and money to address his business debts and none of the items were returned to the rightful owners by Mr Walsh. He was clearly identified when taking the roller and this enabled Mr O’Shaughnessy to follow him and and he did. Following chat within the trade the dots were linked together. The loss can be measured not only with the loss of vehicles but also with the loss of business.
“The elements of trust that we place in our fellow citizens is being eroded because of people like Mr Walsh and this is to the detriment of our society.
“He has already been afforded two opportunities to pay back society by been given two community service orders by two different courts. The courts granted you two opportunities in the past to deal with your criminal activity,” said the judge.
“The court accepts your remorse but it is abundantly clear to this court that these three offences require a custodial sentence. The deceit carried on well beyond the actual offence. There are people working in those businesses whose jobs are reliant on these businesses doing well,” he added.
The judge sentenced him to two years in respect of each of the counts and ordered that they be served concurrently as there is a connection between all three of them. He suspended the final 12 months on condition of the defendant entering into a bond to be of good behaviour and keep the peace for three years post release and to engage with the Probation Service and keep away for the business premises of his victims.