Man jailed for string of thefts and burglary at city businesses

Galway Daily news Three people charged in connection with Galway raids

A man who pleaded to a large number of thefts and burglary at businesses around the city received a total sentence of 17 months in prison at Galway District Court.

Martin Barrett (41), with an address at Quinn Terrace Bohermore, pleaded guilty to nine counts of theft, two of criminal damage, and one burglary committed between October 7 of 2019 and February 8 of this year.

The two most serious charges were a burglary at Fat Freddy’s restaurant on Quay Street and another incident where Barrett broke into a woman’s car, stealing her phone, tablet, and cash.

Galway District Court heard that last December 9, at the Train Station Gym on Munster Avenue, Martin smashed the window of a car while the owner was at the gym.

An iphone 5 worth €200, a Samsung tablet valued at €500, €200 in cash and a handbag worth €100 were stolen from inside the car.

This year, on February 8, gardaí said that Barrett went into Fat Freddy’s restaurant and stole a debit card from the staff locker room on the 3rd floor.

He was disturbed by the owner of the card as he was leaving, and the suspicious man followed him from the restaurant to a nearby newsagents where he used the card before getting caught.

Judge Fahy said that she was sure Barrett would have used the card more “only for the man spotted him”, since he went straight to the shop.

On the same day as the burglary at Fat Freddy’s he also stole two bottles of perfume worth €179 from Matt O’Flaherty Chemists on William Street which were not recovered.

Barrett was identified as the thief on cctv footage from the store.

Other theft charges before the court included a €120 hair straightener taken from Boots in Galway Shopping Centre, a €22 jumper from Penny’s in Roscam, €52 worth of clothing from Dunnes Stores in Westside, as well as a bag of coal and briquettes stolen from outside Spar in Roscam.

On January 13 Barrett stole two pairs of headphones with a total value of €338 from Curry’s at Galway Retail Park.

Gardaí said that he brought one pair of the headphones to CeX second hand electronic goods store in Eyre Square and tried to sell them, where he was caught by gardaí.

Only that pair of headphones, worth €120, was recovered from this theft.

The final matter before the court happened at Woodie’s in Galway Retail Park, where Barrett opened the packet of a set of pliers in the store, and used them to cut the security tag off a high end power washer.

He moved the power washer around the store over the next two days trying to get it out, but never managed to actually steal it.

All of the injured parties in these cases were canvassed by gardaí and said they didn’t want to get involved in the court proceedings.

“It’s a way of life for this man,” Judge Mary Fahy said of Mr Barrett’s record of 55 previous convictions.

Solicitor for the defence Olivia Traynor said that her client has a serious drug addiction which he steals to feed.

She added that he held his hands up to everything from the first instance, sparing the state the need to gather their evidence.

Judge Fahy imposed eight month consecutive prison sentences each for the burglary at Fat Freddy’s and for breaking into the woman’s car outside the gym.

She added one month consecutive to that for the theft from Curry’s, while the remaining charges all merited one month sentences which will be served concurrently.