A Galway man received a three year prison sentence, with more than half suspended, for a burglary where roughly €7,000 worth of phones were stolen from a store.
James Ring (31), of Hymany Park, Ballinasloe pleaded guilty to a single county of burglary at Galway Circuit Court this week.
Detective Garda John Flannigan told the court that sometime during the night of Monday, April 1 or following morning in 2019, Ring broke into Phone Care & Repairs in Ballinasloe.
Inside the store he stole approximately €7,000 worth of second hand phones, some top-up cards, and roughly €100 in cash.
He was identified from CCTV footage both inside the store and outside. The owner of the store also recognised him in the footage as someone who had been in there a few days beforehand.
None of the property stolen from the store was ever recovered, the court heard. The exact value of the stolen phones is a “guesstimate” rather than a precise figure Detective Flannigan acknowledged when asked by the defence.
Gardaí charged Ring in September of last year while he was at Cloverhill prison, and during the course of the interview he made no admissions, and after viewing the CCTV footage said that he didn’t do it.
Mr Conall MacCarthy, defence barrister, said that his client has long standing addiction problems, and that he committed burglaries to fund this habit.
However he is currently on methadone, and is making serious efforts to deal with his addiction the defence said.
The court heard that Ring has 121 previous criminal convictions, including 31 for burglary.
He is currently serving a prison sentence on other matters, which is due to be completed in May of 2021.
A Probation Report said that Ring is at a high risk of re-offending, but that he has put his time in custody to good use, and has engaged with a Training and Employment Officer in prison
The defence said that he is someone with a very limited educational background, who has but that he had been working with the prison education services.
“From the point of view of deterring future crime, I think rehabilitation would be more of a deterrence,” Judge Francis Comerford said, noting that sending Ring to prison hasn’t had any effect.
He imposed a three year prison sentence starting immediately, and suspended the final 22 months of that sentence for a period of two years.