Judge will not be held to ran­som over stolen iPad


New Ross Standard - - NEWS -

JUDGE Miriam Walsh said that she would not ‘ be held to ran­som’ at the District Court last week af­ter a pris­oner told her that he may be able to re­cover a stolen iPad which con­tained things of huge sen­ti­men­tal value to the in­jured party.

Nathan Harold (24) of 120 Ra­toath Av­enue, Fin­glas, Co Dublin, faced sev­eral charges of theft, one of which in­volved an iPad taken from JD North’s Pub in New Ross on Au­gust 4 of this year, be­long­ing to a Mr Jim Fitzgib­bon. Mr Fitzgib­bon, who had been DJing that night, told the court that his wife had passed away two years pre­vi­ously and the iPad had pho­tos and things of mas­sive sen­ti­men­tal value to him on it. He said he didn’t par­tic­u­larly miss the iPad, it was just its con­tents that up­set him.

Harold was also charged with in­ter­fer­ing with an MPV at some point be­tween July 11 and 12 at Up­per Mary Street; steal­ing a panini and cake from Ann McDonald’s on Mary Street on July 12; steal­ing two bot­tles of per­fume from Sam McCauleys val­ued at €60 on July 14 and steal­ing two pairs of Gucci sun­glasses from Byrne’s Op­ti­cians on the same date.

Af­ter Mr Fitzgib­bon gave his ev­i­dence, So­lic­i­tor for Harold, Mr Sta­ple­ton, said that his client wished to apol­o­gise pro­fusely to Mr Fitzgib­bon. He also wished to in­di­cate that there may be a pos­si­bil­ity of get­ting the iPad back. Mr Sta­ple­ton said that his client was un­will­ing to give out names or lo­ca­tions for fear of in­crim­i­nat­ing any­one else, but that he may be able to pro­duce the iPad to gar­daí if he was let out of cus­tody.

‘ You’re go­ing to find out where that iPad is,’ Judge Walsh said to the de­fen­dant. ‘What you’re ad­mit­ting to is one of the most dis­gust­ing things and yet you’re sit­ting there smil­ing and grin­ning away at me. The cheek of him to think that he can take property with such sen­ti­men­tal value. It’s dis­gust­ing. I won’t be held to ran­som. This is pure and ut­ter rub­bish.’

Judge Walsh then urged Mr Sta­ple­ton to dis­cuss the mat­ter with his client fur­ther, how­ever, when the case was called again, he stated that no progress had been made as Harold didn’t wish to in­crim­i­nate any­one else. The Judge then said she would rise one fi­nal time to give Harold one fur­ther chance to co-op­er­ate.

When she re­turned, Mr Sta­ple­ton said that his client had fur­nished gar­daí with a name and lo­ca­tion, how­ever Sgt Gary Raynor said that only the name of a hos­tel and a gen­eral area had been pro­vided and they were still none the wiser as to where the lap­top was. Judge Walsh said this wasn’t good enough and she pro­posed to ad­journ the case un­til Fri­day to see how mat­ters pro­gressed.

Mr Sta­ple­ton ob­jected to this and said that his client wished for mat­ters to be fi­nalised. Amongst the mit­i­ga­tion of­fered was the fact that Harold’s part­ner had gone into hos­pi­tal to give birth to twins the day be­fore and, as yet, he still had no news as to how things went.

Judge Walsh was un­sym­pa­thetic, how­ever, and ad­journed the case to see if any progress could be made in re­turn­ing the iPad to its right­ful owner.

When the case came be­fore the court again, the Judge heard that there had been no progress in track­ing down the stolen iPad and Harold was sen­tenced to a to­tal of 12 months in prison on the five charge, six of which were handed down for the theft of the iPad specif­i­cally.

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