A 13-year-old boy who passed off a counterfeit €50 note in a shop in Boyle appeared in court in Carrick-on-Shannon last week on a plea of guilty.
The boy, who is now 15 and comes from Co Meath, cannot be named for legal reasons.
Judge Kevin Kilrane, sitting at Carrick-on- Shannon District Court on December 22, told the boy's father that he was “a disgrace” for allowing his children to be out stealing and robbing.
Sgt Michael Gallagher outlined the facts.
He said on October 17, 2018 at about 9.20pm, the defendant tendered the counterfeit €50 note at the counter in SuperValu, Boyle.
The money was later discovered to be fake and the defendant was identified on CCTV.
He was later interviewed in the presence of his mother and identified himself as the person on the camera.
The court heard he had no previous convictions at the time of the offence but has a number of subsequent convictions.
At Trim District Court on November 19 last he was convicted and given a five months suspended sentence for a theft offence on October 20, 2019, and convicted and fined €100 for a theft offence on May 15, 2019.
At the same court in July 2019 he was given a 12 months probation order for theft.
At Mullingar District Court on February 27, 2020 he was given a juvenile fine order of €400 for a theft offence.
The defendant's father told the court he has nine children and he is doing his best.
Judge Kilrane said the boy is “out thieving and stealing and receiving a prison sentence” and he wanted to know what the boy's father was doing about it.
He said he keeps telling his son to stop what he is doing.
He admitted that he himself was in court a year and a half ago for a theft offence.
Judge Kilrane said it was the father who was at fault.
“You and your children are appearing in court for theft. Thieving is part and parcel of your household. You are a disgrace, that's what you are. Nine children and they out stealing and robbing and you out stealing and robbing,” he said.
Judge Kilrane told the man he wanted him to pay a fine of €300 and adjourned the case back to March 16, 2021 on the condition that they boy does not come to any garda notice between now and March 16.
He ordered the defendant to stay out of Counties Leitrim and Sligo and said if the fine is paid he will not go to prison.
“Spread the word to your other children, if they are involved in theft down this part of the country they are in trouble and you'll be in trouble,” Judge Kilrane told the boy's father.