Man caught in possession of stolen ATM escapes jail

July 10, 2017

A man who was caught attempting to open a stolen cash machine with a petrol-powered saw has been handed a three-year suspended prison sentence.

Adhamh Grant (26) from Silverbridge was caught standing on top of the ATM that he was trying to force open when Gardaí swooped on a derelict building site near Inniskeen, Co. Monaghan on 6th November 2011.  The accused was one of three men present, and while the two others escaped, Grant was apprehended and arrested.

The cash machine had been stolen hours earlier from Gregory’s Filling Station, near Camlough, a stolen digger used to rip it from the wall, causing extensive damage to the building. 

At his sentencing hearing, Monaghan Criminal Circuit Court heard how Grant was not accused of involvement in the actual heist, but rather that he had been offered payment by persons unknown to open the unit.  CCTV footage from the filling station had shown that at least four people took part in the theft, however the prosecution accepted that the Mr Grant was not involved in this part of the operation.

Grant’s defence team told the court that their client was “a hard working family man” with no previous convictions and had shown “very poor judgement” in agreeing to a request to open the machine.  Indeed he had only done so because he thought he’d “get a few pounds for Christmas”, Mr Michael Bowman SC, defending, said.

Accepting Grant failed to identify others involved, Mr Bowman said this was owing to “legitimate concerns” he had for his own safety.

Passing sentence, Judge Cormac Quinn took into account Grant’s early guilty plea and remorse, his previously clear record and that he came from a good family, noting that numerous references of good character were handed into court.  His good employment record and the fact that compensation was being offered were also in his favour.

He was sentenced to three years imprisonment, suspended in its entirety, and ordered to pay €13,000 in compensation to the owner of the ATM.

 Speaking to The Examiner at the conclusion of the court case, store owner, Dan Gregory, says he is disappointed at the outcome, describing the case as “a shambles”.  He pointed out that the accused was never charged with the theft of the ATM and he criticized the lack of communication from police who, he says, failed to keep them up to date with developments: “We feel let down by the justice system which has let a man go virtually unpunished for his malicious crime.  We were also unaware of the case until we read it in the newspaper,” he added.