A Castlebar man who tried to cash a lottery scratchcard that had been stolen from a shop in the town was subsequently discovered with 78 more stolen lottery tickets at his house.
Colm Maughan of Flat 1, Moneen, Castlebar appeared before the local district court last week charged on two counts of handling stolen property.
Detective Sergeant Gary Walsh told the court that he answered a call on April 8 last that a Pink Panther National Lottery scratchcard with winnings of €50 was brought by Maughan to Skeffington’s Shop in Castlebar where he attempted to cash it.
It transpired that it was among a number of lottery tickets stolen from Lyons’s shop in Castlebar two days previously. Detective Sergeant Walsh said a subsequent search of Mr Maughan’s house unearthed a further 78 scratchcards which had been stolen from Lyons’s in the same incident.
He said that the defendant offered no explanation as to how he came into the possession of the cards. He also told the court that Maughan had 22 previous convictions.
Defending solicitor James Warde told the court that his client, aged 38, is separated and has children. He added that all his difficulties stem from alcohol and drug problems.
He said that his client understood he was looking at a custodial sentence and he was ‘amenable’ to that.
However Judge Denis McLoughlin asked if community service was available and put the matter back to July 4 for a community service assessment, saying that if successful he would sentence Maughan to 200 hours community service in lieu of six months in prison.