Man jailed after fingerprint on Coke can links him to theft
on 11/10/2013 00:00:00
Inspector Mary King said the owner of the shed at Rathfilode, Watergrasshill, Co Cork, went to his property at 3pm on Apr 25, 2012, and saw two men putting motor parts from his shed into a van.
They drove away and the owner followed them in the Knockraha direction but lost sight of them and alerted gardaí.
Insp King said gardaí searched the Knockraha area and found the van parked in a field with all of the stolen property - €650 worth of old motor parts - inside.
Gardaí recovered a fingerprint from the empty can in the footwell. It matched those of William O'Reilly, aged 49, of 52 Willowbank View, Fairhill, Cork. At first, he denied involvement in the theft, but pleaded guilty to the offence at Cork District Court yesterday. He had eight previous theft convictions.
Donal Daly, solicitor, said while O'Reilly was pleading guilty to the theft, he denied having anything to do with breaking the shed's lock. He claimed it was open when he arrived and he thought the property was scrap.
Judge Con O'Leary said of O'Reilly: "He comes across as a professional thief. He has eight previous for theft. That is a professional thief for me."
Mr Daly said: "If he is he is not a successful one. [As well as the can] he left a social welfare receipt in the vehicle with his address on it."
The judge said: "On his ninth time being caught I have to impose a custodial sentence. Otherwise he is just going to keep on doing it."