Listowel man given community service for handling stolen truck

A Listowel man has been given community service in lieu of going to jail for handling a stolen dumper truck. Gavel 2 47 year old Tom O’Connor of Bolton’s Cross, Listowel pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to handling the stolen vehicle at Brittas, Co Dublin on a date between December 2009 and April 2010. The dumper truck had been stolen from a quarry in Scotland. Detective Garda Eugene O’Sullivan told the court that Tom O’Connor was not involved in stealing or “cloning” the stolen vehicle which had its chassis number, VIN plate and engine number removed and replaced with alternates. His role was that of a salesman the court heard. Mr O’Connor said he had bought the truck in Holland for €62,500 and paid by bank draft but he never provided any documents to show this. Defence barrister Tony McGillicuddy said his client had accumulated debts which had left him vulnerable but said he was not shirking his own responsibility for the crime. The court heard the accused was declared a bankrupt in 2012 and is now unemployed and on social welfare. Mr O’Connor has five previous convictions including one from Tralee Circuit Criminal Court in 2011 for possessing a stolen John Deere tractor valued at €35,000 in December 2009. Judge Desmond Hogan imposed a four-year sentence, but suspended it in full for five years, saying he wanted to leave the sentence “hanging over his head”. He ordered Mr O’Connor to carry out 240 hours of community service and to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for five years.