Court hears Tralee man is a menace to shopkeepers

A man with more than 50 previous convictions is a “menace to the shopkeepers of Tralee”, a court has been told. Emmet Coffey of 48 Fountain Court, Tralee, was appealing the severity of his six-month sentence for theft at Tralee Circuit Court. Tralee courthouse The forty year old was handed down a six-month sentence in December for stealing from Tesco’s in Manor West on September 22 last. He received a concurrent six-month sentence for stealing two bottles of wine from Nolan’s garage on the North Circular Road on July 21st  last. Emmet Coffey has a total of 53 previous convictions dating from 1989, when he was 14, to July 2014. Most of these are for theft, Tralee Circuit Court heard. Acting State Solicitor Aidan Judge said Mr Coffey had an appalling record and it would be “an appalling waste of tax payers’ money” to engage the probation services as he believed the appellant was “beyond rehabilitation”. He said that on one occasion after Judge Carroll Moran had suspended a prison sentence imposed on Mr Coffey, within half an hour of leaving the court he had stolen a bottle of vodka from Dunnes Stores. He described Mr Coffey as “a menace to the shopkeepers of Tralee”. Defending counsel Richard Liston said his client had made huge strides and was attending HSE drug counseling for the past six months and was tested twice weekly but all of these had come back clear. He added that Mr Coffey had a terrible personal background but had made valiant efforts to change his ways. Judge Thomas E O’Donnell adjourned the matter until July 17th for a brief note from the Probation Services as to whether Mr Coffey would benefit from their services.