Two men face prison for smashing up vending machines

Galway Daily courts Man charged with possessing images of child sex abuse
credit: Robert Linsdell CC BY 2.0 'The Courthouse, Courthouse Square, Galway'

Two men who caused thousands of euro in damages when they smashed up a pair of vending machines to get at their contents, face prison if they do not continue to pay back compensation.

Conal Farragher (23) and Pat Farragher (20), both with an address at New Street, Headford, pleaded guilty to multiple counts of criminal damage, possession of articles meant for use in a crime, and theft at a special sitting of Galway District Court.

In addition Conal Farragher pleaded guilty to a single count of trespassing, for falling asleep in someone else’s car.

The court heard that on April 24 of this year, Gardaí were called to Q Car Park on Eyre Square to reports of a man sleeping in an abandoned car. The man, Conal Farragher, was arrested for a public order offence and later released.

An additional allegation was made of smashed windows on two cars at the car park, as well as two vending machines which had been smashed up with an iron bar, and had all their coins and confectionery removed.

A report was later received of two men loitering in the nearby shopping centre, who turned out to be Conal and Pat Farragher. When Pat was searched by Gardaí, large amounts of coins and confectionery were found on him.

The two men were also identified on CCTV footage from the scene, and Pat Farragher made full admissions when he was shown the footage.

Pat Farragher was solely responsible for breaking the windows of the two cars the District Court heard. He also accepted that he was the “main protagonist” of the entire event.

There was more than €8,000 worth of damage done to the vending machines Gardaí said, and the total loss to the owner with the added loss of the stock came to €9,461.

The owners of the two cars had the damages covered by their insurance, the court heard.

Pat Farragher had €600 in compensation to hand over in court that day, but Judge John King said that he would want more than that from both of them, with thousands in losses still outstanding for the vending machines owner.

“This is wanton destruction of personal property, and there will be a consequence for that,” Judge King said, noting that the offence on its own warrants a prison sentence.

Judge King that he would give them time to pay compensation in instalments, but gave a warning that “the minute they miss an instalment is the minute they’ll get a custodial sentence.”

The case was adjourned back to December 16 for another €1,000 in compensation to be paid, at which point another date will be set for future payments if the money is produced.