Court runs out patience with man who’s never in the country for community service

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A thief who was out of the country every time he was supposed to meet with probation services has been jailed.

At a previous court appearance, Robert Samu pleaded guilty to stealing €70 worth of engine oil back in March of this year.

Samu, who has an address at 33 Fana Glas, Ballybane was sentenced to community service at the time, but in court this week the probation service said that he has been avoiding them at every turn.

In the Community Service Report presented to the court, it was said that every time the probation service tried to make an appointment with him he was out of the country.

Samu said that he wasn’t in Ireland for an extended period this year because two of his uncles passed away.

But on August 8 he left a message with the probation officer handling his case saying he was abroad on holidays, and that he would be back on August 27.

However when the probation officer tried to reach him on that date, the was only a foreign dial tone.

Judge Mary Fahy, who recognised Samu from his 33 previous convictions, said that whenever he should be in court, “Ninety nine percent of the time, he’s in Romania.”

When someone has to meet with probation services, it is their responsibility to pursue the matter and ensure they can make it to appointments, not the probation officer’s.

If a person is given community service for a crime, they can still be jailed if the report from probation services is not to the satisfaction of the court.

Visibly angry in court, Judge Fahy said: “This man has made a fool out of this court for years. This court has bent over backwards to help him, now he expects that service from everyone.”

“Well I’m afraid his luck has run out.”

Robert Samu was sentenced to five months in prison.

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