AN elderly man appeared in court for the first time in his life, after he was caught stealing a pair of trousers in Portlaoise.
Judge Andrew Cody said it was sad to see the 70-year-old in Portlaoise District Court last Thursday and he hoped he would not see him again. The pensioner will turn 71 next month.
He pleaded guilty to stealing a pair of trousers worth €80 from Shaw’s department store on 8 June 2022.
The court heard that he brought two pairs of black trousers into the changing rooms. When he came out, he put one pair back on a hanger and left the store with the second pair. He was detected and the trousers were recovered by the store.
Sgt JJ Kirby said the man had no previous convictions but had received an adult caution for a similar matter earlier this year, which meant that option was not available this time.
Describing the case as unusual, defending solicitor Barry Fitzgerald said the pensioner was “a late entrant” to the court system at the age of almost 71 and was embarrassed to be there at this stage of his life.
He had worked as a builder, but is on a pension and brought €100 to court as compensation for the store.
Mr Fitzgerald said: “He says it was a stupid thing to do and he assures me that he will never be in court again. There was no alcohol or circumstances of desperation involved.”
Striking out the charge after the pensioner handed over €100, Judge Cody told him: “I hope you don’t mind me saying that it is sad to see you here at this stage of your life and I hope I will not see you again.”
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