The 71-year-old homeless man who stole a steak knife “to peel a few potatoes and do some tin work” was jailed for four months.
Patrick McCann walked into Uncle Pete's house on Half Street in Cork and removed a steak knife from a client's table in a restaurant.
Sergeant Gyroid Davis said the accused was suspicious of being an employee.
Kildare, 71, left the restaurant with a knife in his coat sleeve. An employee followed him and warned gardaí.
Garda Niall Duggan arrived at the scene and searched the accused. The knife was found in his possession.
He pleaded guilty to stealing and carrying a knife, contrary to the Offensive Weapons Act.
Frank Battimer, a lawyer, said the defendant was between dormitories and lived on the street, and sometimes lived in tents. He said the 71-year-old opportunistically stole a knife to use to repair the tent.
Sergeant Davis said McCann had 357 previous sentences. Four of them were for carrying knives.
Judge Kelleher asked McCann if he wanted to say anything before the sentencing.
McCann told the judge about the injuries sustained, including two broken ribs. The defendant said it was stupid to steal a knife.
“I wanted him to peel a few potatoes and make some cans,” he told the judge.
The judge passed the accused a total term of four months.
McCann said: “Thank you very much, your honor. Be healthy."