AN Ederney man has been given a six month prison sentence for stealing a lorry from the Manor House Hotel.
James Patrick O’Neill (49) of Drumcullion Road, Drumchorick pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation, handling stolen goods and theft at Enniskillen Magistrates Court last Wednesday.
On February 1 last year O’Neill went to view an Isuzu Tipper Lorry that was being sold by the hotel. O’Neill said he was taking the lorry away to check it out. A week passed and those selling the lorry heard no word back from O’Neill and became suspicious. O’Neill refused to return their calls and didn’t answer when a person from the Manor House called to his home.
O’Neill did not pay any money for the lorry, and did not return the vehicle to the hotel.
When interviewed by police in June last year O’Neill admitted taking the lorry from the Manor House but said he always intended to pay £2,000 for it, the amount the defendant said had been agreed. The amount was at odds with the £3,000 the representative of the Manor House had said they had agreed to sell the lorry for.
It transpired O’Neill sold the lorry for around £2,000 on the Done Deal website. He told the police he’d had bills to cover so did not pay the money to the Manor House, however he said he intended on paying the money to them in time.
Defence solicitor Michael Fahy said O’Neill “should never have entered into an agreement to buy the lorry if he didn’t have the funds.” He said it had been O’Neill’s “determined hope and intention to discharge all moneys” owed to the Manor House, and asked the court to allow the defendant time to do so.
District Judge Nigel Broderick said O’Neill, who had £300 in court to pay the Manor House, had a relevant criminal record “of some vintage” and added there was “little to be said in terms of mitigation in this case.”
Judge Broderick sentenced O’Neill to six months in prison and ordered him to pay the £300 to the Manor House. The defendant was later released on bail pending appeal.
O’Neill also pleaded guilty to speeding and failing to produce his licence at the court last week. The charges related to Thursday, May 18 when he was detected driving at 61mph in a 40mph zone on the Killadeas Road. He was fined a total of £125 and given three penalty points.
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Posted: 9:22 am October 14, 2017