A local man with 99 previous convictions - topped the 100 mark at Dundalk district court last week, after he was convicted of a burglary from a business which CCTV footage showed him passing by.
Simon Maguire (47) of Woodland Park, Dundalk had contested the charge and the Defence solicitor argued that the evidence produced only proved that the accused had walked by the building.
The owner of Quayside Kitchens at George's Quay told the court the office staff had left the premises around 5.40pm on March first last and he and another person, had worked their way out of the building backwards - locking up as they went.
He said he got a call from an electrician who was working next door to tell him to come quick as he had spotted the defendant in the vicinity.
The next morning it was established that €155 had been taken from the petty cash box. During cross examination by the Defence solicitor, the witness said the showroom had been empty and he estimated it was unattended for up to five minutes before he locked up.
He agreed he didn't see the accused in the shop and when it was put to him, that it was possible that somebody else had entered the premises the witness replied "I'd find that highly unlikely. They probably would have been caught on camera."
CCTV footage from the Spirit Store, of the defendant walking past the premises was then shown to the court.
When the solicitor put it to the investigating garda that his client could not be seen going into the building, the detective replied that he was satisfied that the accused was at its' entrance.
The solicitor said the accused says he was in the area but didn't take anything from the shop.
The court heard the cash box was dusted for fingerprints but gardaí didn't find Simon Maguire's on it.
The defence applied for a not guilty verdict on the grounds that nobody seen the accused in the premises or taking anything.
When Judge John Coughlan told him there was a case to answer, the solicitor further argued that Simon Maguire has family living close by. He added it's a public area. “He did not steal that money”.
He also argued the time on the CCTV put him in the area 5 or 6 minutes earlier than the time frame the witness had given the court.
However, Judge Coughlan convicted Simon Maguire. After hearing he had 99 previous convictions, he imposed a five month sentence and said he could lodge an appeal by entering a €200 euro cash recognisance.