A man who admitted theft, possession of stolen property and possession of a taser gun and pepper spray was handed down a suspended sentence at Kilkenny Circuit Court.
Michael Lynagh, Bigwood, Mullinavat, Co Kilkenny admitted the offences which took place on dates in October and November 2017 in various addresses in South Kilkenny.
Detective Garda Brian Whitty told the court that on October 29, 2017 a report was made that a jeep was taken from a yard. The garda also gave evidence that there was a report of a stolen trailer on November 8, 2017 and the report of the theft of a caravan on November 11,2017. All the property was stolen from a number of Kilkenny addresses located near to each other.
A warrant was also executed to search a property where Michael Lynagh was staying on November 14, 2017. The defendant was not present at first but returned to the property during the search.
The court heard that there was a jeep parked at the property and attached to it was a stolen trailer and behind the property there was a caravan. Det Gda Whitty said that inside the house a taser gun was found on top of a cabinet in the kitchen along with some pepper spray.
The defendant admitted the theft of the jeep and the trailer and to owning the taser gun and the pepper spray. He was arrested and conveyed to Thomastown Garda Station. He initially denied taking the caravan but pleaded to possessing stolen property.
The court heard that the defendant has 102 previous convictions, including previous convictions for the unlawful taking of a MPV and theft.
Defence barrister, Conor Roberts said that there were ‘no encounters with any property owners’ in any of the offences before the court and that when the stun gun was examined it was found not to be working.
The court also heard that the defendant returned home when the search warrant was being executed and made admissions at the scene. Mr Roberts also told the court that his client was ‘paid to work on a caravan which was stolen by someone else’.
“He has caused significant irritation for the people of South Kilkenny in the past but he has not come to adverse attention over the past three years.”
“He is someone who has fallen in with more sophisticated criminals over the years who were a bad influence on him,” said Mr Roberts who added that prior to the Covid-19 pandemic his client had worked as a hotel porter.
The court also heard that alcohol and a negative peer group were cited as factors in the defendant’s offending behaviour and evidence was also given that the defendant has previously served a prison sentence.
Mr Roberts said that his client ‘no longer associates with that negative peer group’ and added that his client apologised both to the property owners and the gardaí.
“My client has a low intellectual functioning which may lower his culpability somewhat,” he added. The court also heard that the defendant is assessed as being of a high risk of reoffending.
Judge Patrick Meghan convicted the defendant of theft of a trailer and imposed a sentence of three years which he suspended for five years on condition that the defendant enter a bond to be of good behaviour and to keep the peace and to engage with the Probation Services.
The judge also convicted the defendant of possession of a firearm and of pepper spray and sentenced him to two years in prison which he suspended for five years and he also imposed an 18-month sentence for possession of stolen property. All sentences are to run concurrently.
“I think he has turned a corner but if he re-offends he will be starting a three-year sentence,” remarked the judge.
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