Man in court for flatpack shed worth almost €16,000 theft

A Letterkenny man who worked until eight pm on Christmas Eve admitted stealing a €15,900 flatpack shed because he was “frustrated” when part of his pay was with-held.

Donegal District Court was told most of the flatpack property was returned but some contents worth €4,000 to €5,000 were with-held from the victim, Noreen Conaghan.

28 year old Brian McKinney, of Knockbrack, Letterkenny, pleaded guilty to the theft at Drumacrea, Mountcharles in January 2010.

Judge Kevin Kilrane fined him €500, but made no order on compensation.

The judge said the shed was imported from England in a flatpack by Ms Conaghan who hoped to avail of a Department of Agriculture grant, and whentold she wouldn't qualify, she recruited the assistance of McKinney who solved the problem by sourcing other materials.

Ms Conaghan then complained of snags in the work and with-held €2,000 from McKinney and a dispute arose. She said all of the goods in the flat-pack shed were not returned. He said he is still owed money for work done.

The judge added that he would not like his decision to be quoted as a precedent in larceny cases.

A half-hour after the end of the case the judge agreed to hear Ms Conaghan and she told the court that McKinney was not there on Christmas Eve and he wasn’t the only person on the job. She complained about work not done by him and she said she was not deliberately with-holding money.

The judge emphasised that McKinney now had a criminal conviction but that any difficulty over money between the parties was a civil issue.