27 Sept 2022

Tipperary courts: man who says he is suffering from dementia jailed following series of thefts

Tipperary courts: man who says he is suffering from dementia jailed following series of thefts

Nenagh Courthouse

A man who told Nenagh Court he had been diagnosed with dementia said he could not recollect the theft of a number of items from stores in Nenagh and Roscrea.

Mark Butler, 44, of 6 Cregan Avenue, Limerick, pleaded to theft at Lidl, Nenagh, on July 2 and July 9, 2017. He also pleaded to theft at World of Wonder, Streame, Nenagh, on February 20, 2017, and to theft from Tesco, Roscrea, on February 2, 2017.

The court was told the total amount taken came to €1,112.

Mr Butler took €172 worth of items from Lidl on July 9, and €280 on July 2 when he took 28 items each valued at €10. Mr Butler left Tesco with a sound bar valued at €239 and took two baby monitors worth €430 from World of Wonder.

Judge Bernadette Owens was told Mr Butler was currently serving a prison sentence of nine months for theft handed down at Limerick Court in September and was due for release in June 2018.

He was given a concurrent sentence of three months for theft at Tipperary Town Court in October.

He has 33 previous convictions, including 23 for theft.

"Mr Butler has had a series of mini-strokes over the past four or five years. He genuinely does not recollect these offences," defence solicitor Conor Delaney told Nenagh Court.

"He suffers from depression and has cognitive impairment," he said.

Mr Delaney said his client had been a plasterer but had accumulated these offences in the past three to four years.

Initially, it had been thought Mr Butler was suffering from Bell's Palsy, but it now transpired he had had a series of mini-strokes.

In his direct evidence to the court, Mr Butler said he had since been diagnosed with dementia and was on medication.

"I can't recollect these incidents. It is not in my character," he said.

Judge Owens pointed out that Mr Butler had taken a "substantial amount of property", but it was in his favour that he had pleaded at an early stage.

She jailed him for a total of 14 months, concurrent to the sentence he is already serving.

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