Suspended sentences for two who stole cash register

By Brion Hoban and Jessica Magee 

TWO men who stole a cash register from an indoor entertainment centre while a children’s birthday party was being celebrated, have walked from court with suspended sentences.

Eddie Valentine (44) of Carrickmount Drive, Rathfarnham, and Mark Kavanagh (40) of nearby Mountain View Drive, pleaded guilty to stealing the till from Leisureplex, Stillorgan on May 4, 2017.

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At a hearing at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on Friday, the court heard how a children’s birthday party was in full swing when the two men entered the reception area of the Zoo adventure soft play centre.

Staff noticed that the cash register was missing and the theft was later observed on CCTV cameras.

Judge Karen O’Connor praised the quick thinking of a staff member who ran outside and managed to detain the two accused men, who had asked her for directions.

The judge set a headline sentence of three years for both men, but reduced it to two years fully suspended on account of a number of mitigating factors, including their early guilty pleas and chronic drug addictions.

She ordered Valentine and Kavanagh to be supervised by the Probation Services for 12 months and abide by all directions relating to education and drug addiction treatments.

Garda Karl O’Neill told Fionnuala O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, that staff noticed that the cash register was gone at about 11.30 on the morning in question.

A staff member ran outside to the adjacent St Lawrence’s Park and saw a black car driving in an unusual manner.

The car slowed and a man got out, limped towards her and asked in slurred speech for directions to the N11.

The staff member, whom the judge praised as a “clever lady”, directed the men instead into a

cul-de-sac to try and contain them. She also took note of the car registration number and gardai were alerted.

Garda O’Neill and his colleague Garda Lorraine Mulvin arrived and watched CCTV of the two men entering reception and taking the till, which contained €95 in cash and four keys to vending machines.

Gardai traced the car to Valentine’s address that afternoon and arrested both men at the house.

Valentine has 78 previous convictions, two of which were from the Circuit Court, for burglary and production of an article. His remaining offences include multiple thefts, burglaries, possession of stolen goods and criminal damage.

Kavanagh has 111 previous convictions, of which three were from the Circuit Court including an attempted robbery. His other offences include 74 for road traffic matters and multiple burglaries and thefts.

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