Defendant likened to ‘The Bird’ found with claw hammers near Leitrim parking machine

news reporter


news reporter

Three year driving disqualification for drink driving imposed at Carrick District Court

Carrick-on-Shannon District Court

A man whose role in an attempt to commit a theft was likened to that of the character 'The Bird' in the film, 'The Field' appeared before Carrick-on-Shannon Court last week on a plea of guilty.

Christopher Stokes, 10 Rosebank, Attirory, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim pleaded guilty at Carrick-on-Shannon District Court to having in his possession three black spur claw hammers to be used in the course of a theft on July 13, 2020 at Mercantile Plaza, Townparks, Carrick-on-Shannon.

Mr Stokes had failed to appear in court the previous week and said he had been at a funeral and couldn't attend.
Sgt Michael Gallagher told the court that another defendant, Bernard McDonagh, had already received a sentence for this matter.

He said that on July 13 last Garda Mary Burke went to that location at about 7.20pm while investigating Mr McDonagh.

She met Mr Stokes in the vicinity of a private parking meter and noted he was in possession of the claw hammers.

He was not taking any action with regard to the parking meter but he was arrested.

Mr Stokes told the garda he was asked to hold onto the hammers by Mr McDonagh and was just acting as a lookout.

Solicitor for Mr McDonagh, Niamh McGovern, said her client told her that he was on one of his many walks around town when he met up with Mr McDonagh who asked him if he could assist.

Ms McGovern said it reminded her of the role of ‘The Bird’ in the film ‘The Field’ and Mr Stokes fulfilled that role for Mr McDonagh.

Judge Kevin Kilrane asked Mr Stokes if he had seen the film. He said he hadn't.

She said Mr Stokes did not partake in any destruction or damage to anything, he merely attended on Mr McDonagh.

Mr Stokes told the court Mr McDonagh asked him to hold the hammers.

“I didn't do any criminal damage to the parking machines,” he said and added that it was Mr McDonagh that broke into the parking machine.

Judge Kilrane told him he shouldn't have been helping Mr McDonagh by holding the tools.

Mr Stokes said he knows it was wrong of him.

He said he will keep away from Mr McDonagh.

“If Mr McDonagh keeps away from me, I'll keep away from Mr McDonagh,” he said.

“Well he's in prison at the moment so that will solve the short term problem,” remarked the Judge.

He convicted and fined Mr Stokes €100 and allowed him three months to pay. Mr McDonagh said he would pay the €100 when he got his social welfare payment.

The hammers were forfeited to the State.