Clonmel District Court
Clonmel District Court has heard how a man who is “essentially homeless” with health issues cannot get the supports he requires from the HSE and the local authority.
Andrew Roche of no fixed abode received a prison sentence for theft and trespassing offences.
Sergeant Carol O’Leary said that both on November 27 and December 29 last year the defendant was caught trespassing at Mani Restaurant on Parnell Street, Clonmel.
On January 26 of this year, he entered The Food Fair on Parnell Street and stole two muffins valued at €3. Sgt O’Leary said the defendant has 49 previous convictions, primarily consisting of theft and trespassing offences.
Defence solicitor James Reilly said his client, who was in garda custody, is essentially homeless.
The solicitor said his client previously committed theft to get arrested, and requires a “high level” of support for his addiction, psychiatric and mental disability issues. The solicitor said his client has no family support or funds.
“He is a vulnerable client with a significant history,” Mr Reilly said.
The solicitor said the HSE Mental Health Services has been “reluctant” to provide the defendant with the level of support he needs. He said the local authority can’t provide that level of support either.
The defendant had been referred to the Dublin Region Homeless Executive before returning to Clonmel, with the solicitor adding that “this avenue has been exhausted”.
Mr Reilly acknowledged that his client was in a “poor position” before the court and that he is under constant supervision of the Prison Service.
On the trespassing issues, the solicitor said nothing was taken and there was no damage caused, whilst saying that the theft of the muffins was of minor value.
Judge Terence Finn acknowledged that the defendant is a “vulnerable person”, but said that others are also vulnerable in a “different sense”, which made reference to the crimes he committed.
The judge imposed a “modest” concurrent sentence of three months with respect to the three charges before the court, which was backdated to January 28 of this year when the defendant was initially imprisoned.